Obesity and the Immune System

I read an interesting article from Kaiser Health News. This independent news service is funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The article cited a study that followed obese and healthy-weight people who received the flu shot. When researchers measured people’s immune response, the groups were similar. However, people who were obese had a higher rate of confirmed influenza or influenza-like illness compared to those of healthy weight (9.8% vs 5.1%).

The researchers used a measurement called Body Mass Index (BMI) to classify the groups. Using weight and height, the BMI can be calculated. Obesity was defined as a BMI over 30 and healthy-weight was a BMI between 18.5-24.9. Please click here to if you like to determine your BMI.

The belief that having a few extra pounds is good for health in case you get sick may be detrimental to your health. Losing weight is complicated. It is not the notion of calories in, calories out. The whole-food, plant-based diet helps decrease calorie density. Physical activity somehow speeds up metabolism, even though the calories burned are less than the calories consumed. Stress reduction, through activity or counselling, can help with weight loss. Proper sleep has been shown to reduce weight. Reducing alcohol consumption will decrease calories. Positive social relationships will help to provide support on your weight-loss journey. Thanks for reading. #lifestylemedicine

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

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