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This article discusses the disproportionate burden of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 in Black, Latinx, and Native Americans and the long-standing disparities in nutrition and obesity that likely contribute to this disproportionate burden during the pandemic. Obesity and obesity-related conditions are associated with severe outcomes from COVID-19, and these conditions disproportionately affect disadvantaged populations. Many factors contribute to the ethnic and racial disparities in COVID-19, including socioeconomic, educational, and environmental disadvantages.
This article suggests that observational studies and randomized clinical trials addressing factors underlying severe COVID-19 in people with obesity and related conditions should be prioritized to include the Black, Latinx, and Native American patient populations and comprehensive interventions that address social determinants of health should be implemented in the long term.
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Black, Latinx, and Native Americans are experiencing disproportionate burdens of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).1 Similar disparities are observed in other countries where minority groups face hurdles in accessing health, education, and social services as well as affordable, healthy food. These stark manifestations of health inequities have emerged in the wake of a body of evidence linking obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease — conditions that disproportionately affect disadvantaged populations — with severe outcomes from Covid-19. Though the factors underlying racial and ethnic disparities in Covid-19 in the United States are multifaceted and complex, long-standing disparities in nutrition and obesity play a crucial role in the health inequities unfolding during the pandemic.