Thursday, April 25

Obesity and its Impact on COVID Occurrence: Evidence from India

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By Archana Dang & Indrani Gupta

Working Paper No- 430

Over-nutrition has emerged as a major public health issue in India. Being overweight or obese has been linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are also linked to susceptibility and severe illness due to COVID. This paper investigates the association between overnutrition indicators and COVID prevalence and case fatality rate, for India. Using nationally representative dataset National Family Health Survey – 4 and COVID data, estimates show that over-nutrition is significantly associated with NCDs and, therefore, over-nutrition indicators are utilized as a surrogate for NCDs. State and district-level analysis indicate strong and significant relationships between over-nutrition and COVID prevalence and fatality rate. Results underscore the importance of addressing obesity in general for successful NCDs prevention strategies, targeting messages of COVID prevention among obese individuals as well as the development of additional vaccination strategies for COVID that take into account the link between COVID and obesity

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