Obesity: Policy and Practice Recommendations for High-Risk Populations Influenced by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Obesity has been linked to higher morbidity and mortality in those that contract novel viruses, such as H1N1 and SARS-CoV-2. Loss of life and the high cost of obesity highlight the need to focus on preventative measures. The state of Maine (United States) is profiled as a rural state with high rates of obesity and low health literacy that benefits from programs to improve health. However, more multidirectional efforts are needed. Four recommendations for building a healthier, more resilient patient population are discussed here: (i) state incentives and subsidies, (ii) employers to incentivize healthy living, (iii) federal incentives and initiatives, and (iv) personal responsibility for health and wellness.