THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – IS BEING FAT A RISK FACTOR FOR COVID-19

Maybe.

Maybe not.

There are two (small) studies that claim it is.

High Prevalence of Obesity in severe acute respiratory syndrome etc.

Obesity in patients younger than 60, etc.

These studies have been scrutinized and evaluated by people in the fat community who are a lot fucking smarter than I am.

And those people believe there are problems with the studies.

This is what I’ve gleaned from the discussions about the studies (plus some of my own fat old lady wisdom):

First, they fail to recognize that in the US fat people make up about 2/3 of the general population.

(You’d think now that we are the majority, we’d be treated better, wouldn’t you?)

So the numbers of fat people who are being seen in hospitals treating COVID-19, reflect the percentage of fat people that exist in the general population.

Second, they fail to recognize all the things that go into the dance between the medical establishment and fat people; and how that might skew what researchers are seeing.

Third, they fail to recognize the stressors of being a fat person (and all that goes with it) in this country; and what preexisting damage that can do.

Fat people tend to avoid going to the doctor.

They avoid it because they know the doctor is going to lecture them about their weight, and may even blame whatever symptoms the fat person has on their weight.

So quite often, unless a fat person is really REALLY sick – so sick that they believe the doctor cannot ignore the symptoms and simply focus on weight – they aren’t going to the doctors.

This means when a fat person presents themselves as possibly having COVID-19, they are already really REALLY sick.

So sick that the fat person felt they had no other choice.

Because fat people often avoid the medical profession, they may have other undiagnosed underlying conditions; or they may have untreated underlying conditions (because a doctor decided no treatment was required until and unless the fat person lost weight).

Fat people are under a lot of day-to-day stress from fatphobia and discrimination.

Fat people may be under other forms of discrimination, such as being a person of color, or LGBTQ.

Also, fat people tend to be under-employed, and often paid less than their non-fat coworkers – making for financial and socio-economic issues that affect health outcomes.

And here’s the hard bitter truth.

What if fat is an independent risk factor for COVID-19?

I have said it before, please, let me say it again:

THERE IS NO KNOWN WAY TO ACHIEVE LONG TERM SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT LOSS FOR MOST FAT PEOPLE.

Get it?

And if we get COVID-19, being fat should NOT affect the medical care we receive.

shredder

 

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