By Robin Clutters

DENVER (CBS4)– Every day we seem to be learning more about coronavirus, and one of the risk factors that has doctors concerned is how obesity can increase the likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19. Dr. Frank Chae from the Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery says that’s led to an increase in weight loss surgeries.

He says he’s seen a 20% increase in demand and requests for bariatric surgery when compared to June, July, and August of last year.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s not just our practice,” says Chae. “Whether it’s in New York City or in Cleveland, as well as the various insurance companies across the country. United Healthcare and Cigna have seen an increased demand as much as 24% to 40% compared to last year.”

Chae says the best candidates for weight loss surgery are people who are 60 to 80 pounds overweight, or have a body mass index greater than 30. He says insurance companies typically cover the surgeries in people who have a BMI of 35 or greater.

“I think a lot of people are fast tracking their decision process to sign up for surgery, in order for them to protect themselves from the adverse effects of COVID-19 complications, which by the way, rises with obesity.”

(credit: CBS)

For those who may not be eligible or do not want surgery, Chae recommends a high protein, low carb diet as well as plenty of exercise. He says a great place to start is with your doctor, who can refer you to a dietician. He says most candidates for weight loss surgery have tried these methods first but have been unsuccessful.

“We knew obesity was bad for COVID, since it does adversely affect our lung function, and our immune response system to fight off infection,” says Chae. “But what’s also powerful is that there are studies coming out that show weight loss surgery lessens the risk of ICU admission after COVID infection as well as death from COVID-19.”

Robin Clutters

  1. sonny says:

    I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and it’s safe to say that I’ve tried a LOT of diets. This diet is the only one I’ve managed to stick to and the weight is literally melting off my body.

    Unlike other diets where I am feeling hungry all day and food is constantly on my mind, This Natural diet has completely eliminated this, I actually NEVER feel hungry with this way of eating!

    As of today I’ve lost 35 pounds, I have no hunger pangs and mentally I feel sharp as a pin. This is definitely going to become a ‘way of life’ for me as it’s so easy to follow.

    it’s actually amazing watching my body transform into something I am actually proud of rather than something I have always tried to cover up. I would definitely recommend anyone struggling
    to lose weight to try these Magical Diet as they really have been a godsend for me.

Leave a Reply to sonny Cancel reply