COVID: Protect Your Health and Save a Life – Your Own

Lots of words are swirling about obesity and COVID-19. Some are helpful. Like this new PSA from the Creative Coalition. That’s a nonprofit advocacy group promoting arts and education. The group wants you to know: COVID-19 is a real problem for people living with obesity.

But if that’s you, you’re not alone. You can act to protect your health and your life. Doctors and other healthcare professionals who understand obesity can help.

Not Everyone Gets It

Now the truth is that not everyone understands this. Misinformation about obesity and about COVID-19 is easy to find. Sometimes it comes from high places. So whom can you trust?

For one thing, you need a healthcare provider who understands obesity. Not all primary care providers do. Some think they’re dealing with it if they simply instruct you to lose weight. That’s a sure sign that they’re clueless. Obesity is not a simple matter of eating too much and moving too little. Simply expecting a patient to go off and transform their life with a better lifestyle seldom does much good.

Nope. Obesity is about physiology. In obesity, the body deposits fat in ways that harm your health. It puts too much of it in all the wrong places. Certainly lifestyle strategies can help. But they require a lot of support and they don’t often cure the problem for good.

And one size doesn’t fit everyone. Some people can dramatically improve their health with a smart diet and strategies for staying active. Others will need anti-obesity meds or surgery. Maybe both.

Skilled Providers

So if you’re living with obesity and you want to protect your health, you might need a healthcare provider with special training and skill for obesity care. The surest bet is someone with a certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine. That means they are a physician who has taken the time to learn about obesity care and demonstrate their competence to provide it.

A dietitian with a certification in obesity and weight management can also be helpful. Some nurse practitioners and physician assistants have gained this expertise, too.

What’s not helpful is finger-pointing, promoting fear, or spreading misinformation. So arm yourself with good information. Seek allies who understand what you’re living with. And act to protect your health. COVID is serious stuff, especially when you mix it with uncontrolled obesity.

Click here for more information on strategies for managing obesity from the Obesity Action Coalition.

Artists Using Their Voices: COVID-19 and Obesity, PSA by the Creative Coalition

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


September 25, 2020

2 Responses to “COVID: Protect Your Health and Save a Life – Your Own”

  1. September 25, 2020 at 11:43 pm, Angela Golden said:

    I love almost everything you write and agree with your sentiment but please recognize in all your writings Ted, not only physicians treat obesity. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants have practices that can provide full evidenced based practices to support patients in treating the disease of obesity. To say that only a physician can do this is unfair to patients that are looking for a clinician to assist them in their treatment. We must help patients find all the healthcare providers that are educated to assist them. Thank you for considering accepting this comment for posting. Dr. Angela Golden, Family Nurse Practitioner, SCOPE certified,OMA Advanced Certificate of Education in Obesity Medicine andOwner and Provider at NP Obesity Treatment Center.

    • September 26, 2020 at 4:33 am, Ted said:

      You’re right, Angela. I try, but I goof sometimes.