Obesity is a direct path to many forms of cancer in later life, including cancer of the bowel, kidneys, ovaries and liver. Research in USA and UK has now shown that obesity not only increases cancer risk but also puts one at highest risk of severe Covid-19, regardless of age. Check yourself for a healthy weight. Losing even a few pounds if you are overweight or obese can lower your cancer as well as your risk of severe coronavirus complications if your test positive.
Senior citizens who have self-isolated during the coronavirus pandemic have probably not taken adequate exercise, spending more time than usual watching TV, their tablet or computer. They are therefore likely to have put on excess weight.
Adults need to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of these. Children and teens should aim for at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity every day.
Cutting excess weight is always more difficult than adding it! The amount you eat will obviously affect the amount you weigh. Reduce your portions. Eat a colourful variety of vegetables and fruits, and plenty of whole grains and brown rice to achieve a healthy diet. Avoid or limit processed meats such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, and hot dogs. Cut down or eliminate factory-farmed red meats. They will have been fed a multitude of antibiotics in their short, processed life, as are farmed fish, like salmon.
Avoid or limit sugar-sweetened beverages, highly processed foods, and refined grain products. Avoid alcohol, if possible. Current medical guidelines are for women to restrict their intake to one drink per day and men to restrict to no more than two. A drink portion is 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Body weight and obesity are inextricably linked to exercise, food intake and healthy diet. They all therefore matter in the enhanced cancer risk from obesity and severe Covid-19 complications.
Check your body mass indicator, (BMI), with the NHS calculator shown below in Further Reading.
NHS BMI Calculator
Check yourself for a healthy weight.