According to a new study by UK researchers, published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, weighing even a little extra weight raises the risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19, especially in younger adults.
The findings offer fresh insights into who is most at risk of complications, laying out the effects for certain age and ethnic groups and showing how weight gain matters, reports Bloomberg.
The study comes as repeated lockdowns and pandemic stress lead to expanding waistlines in many developed countries and quashes the perception that only the obese face worse outcomes.
According to the researchers, those with a body mass index above 23, which is considered at the upper end of the healthy range, are already at higher risk.
They found that each one-point increase in body mass index raises the chance of hospitalisation by 5% and of intensive-care admission by 10%. The impact was greatest in those under age 40, and the risks were amplified for Black people compared with other ethnic groups, the scientists found after studying the health records of almost 7 million people in England.
Being overweight had little effect on outcomes for people older than 80.