The Coronavirus has been a global pandemic for over a year now. But people now have a little hope to protect themselves from the virus in the form of the Covid 19 vaccine. To be eligible to take the vaccine, patients must fulfill a list of criteria. One such criterion is obesity, a condition that plagues much of the population.
Does BMI Affect One’s Eligibility For The Covid-19 Vaccine?
Many Americans are now trying to gauge their overall body mass index or their BMI in the hope that they keep the criteria for eligibility. Experts have attempted to explain the relationship between obesity and its effect when taking the vaccine. But the information is not so clear-cut.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers obesity to be an underlying medical condition. The CDC explains that one comes under the category of obesity when their body mass index is measured to be over 30 but less than 40. However, the contrasting fact remains that even if one has a high body mass index, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unhealthy.
In actuality, measuring one’s body mass index is nothing more than measuring the amount of fat in one’s body. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has come up with a way to calculate one’s body mass index for children as well as adults.
According to the CDC, for adults whose body mass index is normal the range is from 18.5 to 24.9. Those who are overweight fall in the 25 to 29.9 range whereas those who are considered to be obese have a body mass index of 30 and higher. The CDC considers people to be extremely obese or severely obese if they have a body mass index of 40 or higher.
According to Dr. Clifford Rosen who is the director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at the Maine Medical Center Research Center, those who have a body mass index of 30 and over are more likely to experience severe health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular-related illnesses. He explained that obesity could also lead to the chances of having a more serious reaction to the Coronavirus.
However, those who have a high body mass index are not necessarily ill or unhealthy. As per Dr. Rosen, certain cases may arise where people have a high body mass index but are actually healthy. For instance, weight trainers or people who are into athletics have a lot of muscles and therefore they have a higher body mass index explained Dr. Caroline Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Appliance further stated that “A lot of football players have a BMI of 30, 35, or even 40, but they’re all muscle so they’re extremely healthy.” Dr. Apovian recommended that all those who are not aware of whether the majority of their body mass index is fat or muscle should consult a weight loss specialist to find out.
Dr. Rosen emphasizes that one can decrease their body mass index by altering their diet and exercising. The foremost step is to realize that it is not your fault and one should take the initiative by being responsible for their body. He states that one should reassure themselves by telling themselves, “I don’t know what caused this, but I’m going to do something about it.”
Dr. Rosen highlighted the need for a change in diet in order to be healthy. He advocated that the weight loss process is not helped by consuming processed foods. Instead one should eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. “ It’s slowing down, putting your fork down … planning what you’re eating in advance and being cognizant of portion sizes,” said Dr. Kushner professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.