A new study suggests obesity is not a risk factor for acute respiratory infections like the flu, as previously thought. This study was conducted by researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina. The results, which were unexpected, were published in the International Journal of Obesity.
This study involved 3,560 children and adults seen in the hospital emergency room for acute respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat during flu seasons from 2010 to 2014. Study participants were classified as normal-weight, overweight, or obese.
Using a number of barometers to measure illness severity, including admission to the hospital and length of stay after admission, and the need for supplemental oxygen and antibiotics, the researchers discovered no difference among children or adults based on weight.