Obese women who claim they’re healthy because they have normal blood pressure and blood sugar need to know that obesity impairs protection against the flu.
Of course, this applies to men as well.
Normal blood pressure and fasting glucose or A1C are only three components of health status, yet some very plus-size women, along with overweight men, are fixating on these three components and using them as a huge barometer for their overall health.
Obesity disrupts health and fitness in so many ways it’s dizzying – and this includes in those who are “metabolically healthy,” meaning that their blood pressure and glucose fall within normal ranges.
“Obesity is an independent risk factor for many things,” says Richard Honaker, MD, Chief Medical Advisor at Your Doctors Online, with 30+ years’ experience as a primary care physician.
“It has far reaching and numerous metabolic adverse effects that are not evident on routine exams and lab tests.”
This means when an obese person walks out of a doctor’s office, after being told that “everything looks normal,” she or he should not get too smug about this.
Obesity Hampers Protection from the Flu
Obese people who receive a flu shot are twice as likely to get the flu or a similar illness compared to healthy-weight adults who’ve gotten a flu shot.
A flu shot does not 100 percent guarantee you won’t get infected with the influenza virus, but researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have announced that being very overweight interferes with the flu shot’s effectiveness.
The UNC study report says that vaccinated adults who have obesity are two times as likely to contract the flu virus when compared to vaccinated adults of a healthy weight.
Why are flu vaccinations not as effective in obese people?
The researchers believe this is due to improper functioning of the T cells in the very overweight. T cells are important for protecting and recovering from the flu.
This impairment has nothing to do with the so-called metabolic health.
The report appears in the Journal of International Obesity (10.1038/ijo.2017.131).