‘Two stone weight loss rid me of my worries about COVID’

9 September 2020, 08:13 | Updated: 9 September 2020, 08:20

By Charlotte Sullivan

One man has lost two stone during lockdown after hearing that the more overweight you are, the more severe your reaction to COVID-19 will be.

Evidence from Public Health England suggests that if you carry significant excess weight, then you’re at significantly more risk of poor outcomes from the virus, with an increased risk of hospitalisation and advanced levels of treatment including ventilation or admission to ICU.

51 year old Darren King from Essex was 15 stone 8 lbs before he started training as lockdown restrictions came in.

But he has since shed two stone in a bid to reduce his risk.

Mr King told LBC News: “I was worried because I also suffer from high blood pressure.

"So, I wanted to obviously lose the weight to make myself less of a high risk person for Covid.

"I was very concerned but looking back I’m so glad I did it because it takes that worry and concern away.”

Angus Browne who owns and run’s Browne’s Bootcamp in Leigh on Sea said he has seen many more people taking up exercise since the pandemic started in a bid to lose weight and get healthy.

Mr Browne said: “The outdoor training is massive anyway but this year it’s doubled.”

He said that with more people working from home now, there could be a tendency to fall into bad habits and get “lazy” but he added “getting unfit is not a good way of living.”

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He also said “you can’t make Covid an excuse to exercise…. Covid was a massive eye opener to people to get out there and do some training but I still think, and I’m a true believer, that you’ve just got to get out there and try and do it every single day.”

A report by public health England in July summarised the effects excess weight and obesity has on COVID-19.

It confirmed thatbeing obese or excessively overweight increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, with UK and international evidence suggesting that being severely overweight puts people at greater risk of hospitalisation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and death from COVID-19, with risk growing substantially as body mass index (BMI) increases.

Adrian Coggins, head of wellbeing and public health for Essex County Council explained the findings saying that “being overweight puts more stress of the body than it’s designed for.

He said: “If you carry excess fat, that has an impact on your respiratory function… carrying excess weight can impair the body’s natural fighting response to infection and there also appears to be an interaction with weight related diseases like type 2 diabetes and respiratory diseases which are also associated with more severe reaction to Covid 19.”

Darren told us that losing the two stone has changed his life. He said “Physically I feel so much better. I find it easier to get up, easier to do things.

"Mentally as well, I just feel a lot fresher, a lot brighter in the mornings. Just a general better wellbeing. There are a lot more people that I’ve noticed out running, out cycling, doing a lot more walking for the same reasons.

"Lose a bit of weight, be healthy… physically and mentally“