The Role of Obesity, Body Composition, and Nutrition in COVID‐19 Pandemia: A Narrative Review Andrea P.


Abstract: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic has spread worldwide, infecting nearly 500 million people, with more than 6 million deaths recorded globally. Obesity leads people to be more vulnerable, developing worse outcomes that can require hospitalization in intensive care units (ICU). This review focused on the available findings that investigated the link between COVID‐19, body composition, and nutritional status. Most studies showed that not only body fat quantity but also its distribution seems to play a crucial role in COVID‐19 severity. Compared to the body mass index (BMI), visceral adipose tissue and intrathoracic fat are better predictors of COVID‐19 severity and indicate the need for hospitalization in ICU and invasive mechanical ventilation. High volumes of epicardial adipose tissue and its thickness can cause an infection located in the myocardial tissue, thereby enhancing severe COVID‐related myocardial damage with impairments in coronary flow reserve and thromboembolism. Other important components such as sarcopenia and intermuscular fat augment the vulnerability in contracting COVID‐19 and increase mortality, inflammation, and muscle damage. Malnutrition is prevalent in this population, but a lack of knowledge remains regarding the beneficial effects aimed at optimizing nutritional status to limit catabolism and preserve muscle mass. Finally, with the increase in patients recovering from COVID‐19, evaluation and treatment in those with Long COVID syndrome may become highly relevant.

Journal/Conference Information

Nutrients,DOI: 10.3390/nu14173493 , Volume: 14, Issue: 17, Pages Range: 34-93,