Coronavirus Chronicles — Obesity Plus COVID-19 Plus More

Physician and scientist Eric Topol tends to regard what happens in New York State as a portent of the future. Just a few days ago, it was like this:

For new cases/capita, [New York is] leading the US. If it were a country, it would now be the 2nd highest in the world.

Among other problems, the child vaccination rate there is very low. The state has been having a bad time lately and the numbers are dismal. Here are some:

The hospitalization rate for 0-4-year-olds increased 791% from week of Dec. 5-11 to week of Dec. 26.-Jan. 1, 335% for those 5-11 years and 1047% for those 12-18 years during the same time period.

The health department’s Summary says that hospitalization due to COVID increased among every age group, “but none faster than for those 18 years and younger.”

The public becomes confused when there is not enough explanation of basic information. As just one example, when people read stats from different institutions, it is never clear how comparable the situations really are. Political jurisdictions are fiefdoms that make their own rules.

The child COVID statistics come with a note stating that if an individual was seen in the ER but not actually admitted, their COVID status would not show up in this particular dataset. Despite the old saying that “numbers don’t lie,” there can be a lot of both honest clumsiness and deliberate malfeasance before the numbers are posted. The Summary says,

It is unclear from these real-time admissions data whether COVID-19 was a contributing cause to the medical issue that necessitated hospitalization. This often requires in-depth medical chart review by clinical staff, after patients are discharged.

Laypeople are not trained to recognize subtle cues in how medical information is phrased. For instance, there is a difference between being hospitalized for COVID and with COVID. “With” means they came in for something else, a broken leg or whatever, and routine testing revealed the virus. It suggests that there must be an awful lot of asymptomatic carriers wandering around out there.

If you’re not scared yet

Here is something to ponder — a report titled “Risk for Newly Diagnosed Diabetes >30 Days After SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Persons Aged <18 years — United States, March 1, 2020-June 28, 2021.” The headline is talking about people under 18; pediatrics cases; kids; children; and the keyword is diabetes.

People with diabetes are more likely to have severe cases of COVID-19, and this, of course, brings us back to the cozy relationship between COVID and obesity, because obesity and diabetes are often linked. The report describes two collections of information that were used to get an idea of what is going on, and said,

Among these patients, diabetes incidence was significantly higher among those with COVID-19 than among those without COVID-19 in both databases.

The observed increased risk for diabetes among persons aged <18 years who had COVID-19 highlights the importance of COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination, for all eligible persons in this age group, in addition to chronic disease prevention and management.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Eric Topol,”, 01/07/22
Source: “Pediatric COVID-19 Update,”, 01/07/22
Source: “Risk for Newly Diagnosed Diabetes >30 Days After SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Persons Aged <18 years — United States, March 1, 2020-June 28, 2021,”, 01/07/22
Image by Philippe Put/CC BY-SA 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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