A staggering majority of coronavirus deaths were in countries that have overweight populations. According to a report by the World Obesity Federation, of the 2.5 million people who have died from COVID-19, 2.2. million were reported in countries where over 50% of the population is considered obese. The report defined obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) above 25.
Researchers found that countries with less than 40% of their population classified as obese had a death rate of no more than 10 people per 100,000. In countries with an obesity rate above 50%, the death rate jumped to more than 100 deaths per 100,000 people.
The study noted that the biggest factor in the death rate is age, but obesity is a close second.
Belgium, which has an obesity rate of nearly 60%, had the highest death rate from coronavirus at 171 deaths per 100,000 people. The United States, where three-quarters of the population is either overweight or obese, ranked eighth with 105 deaths per 100,000 people.
The World Obesity Federation said that countries should prioritize overweight individuals for the coronavirus vaccines.
"An overweight population is an unhealthy population, and a pandemic waiting to happen," the group in its report.
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