3 Realities of COVID-19 and Obesity

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: weight-loss surgery has proven to be a safe, proactive measure against severe COVID-19 infection. 

New York Bariatric Group has taken pride in sharing need-to-know information with you throughout the pandemic. As we dive into three realities of COVID-19 and obesity below, remember this: we write not only to inform you, but to inspire you to learn more about the benefits of bariatric surgery. 

The powerful, preventative method has changed thousands of lives. Schedule a consultation with NYBG today. 


The coronavirus and fat cells bind to each other like flies on honey. The receptor in human fat cells known as ACE-2 acts as a vehicle for virus invasion. Where do many of these cells live? In adipose tissue, which lies in the abdomen and around internal organs. The more fat stored, the better the climate for infection, making the risk severe for those with obesity.

What happens once infection sets in? Inflammation. We’ll explore this more shortly, but for now, recognize that an inflammatory reaction triggered by the virus can have a ripple effect throughout the body and in the brain. On top of making it easier to contract COVID-19, obesity can also impair the immune system. Fighting the infection could become more difficult. 

2. YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM MAY BE COMPROMISED—whether you realize it or not.

The term “inflammation” is thrown around all the time in association with a bunch of diseases, so we get that it might be easy to brush off. Maybe you even associate it with age. If so, you’re spot on. Over time, the immune system becomes ‘corrupt’, as Professor Walsh of the University of Virginia School of Medicine puts it. Obesity appears to accelerate this. 

Obesity has been known to cause constant low-grade inflammation, which weakens the immune system over time. An article in Scientific American explains: “Chronic inflammation raises the risk of a number of conditions, including autoimmune diseases, certain cancers and ailments of the heart, pancreas, lungs, stomach and reproductive system. It may also be the reason a high body mass index (BMI) is associated with poorer outcomes from infectious diseases, including COVID-19.” 

Okay, so where’s the proof connecting a compromised immune system to COVID-19? Well, there are several studies, including one published just last month. A recent study of 500+ COVID-19 patients (24% obese and 14% severely obese) confirmed that, “obesity was independently and strongly associated with hospitalization, need for oxygen therapy, higher viral load [increased virus presence], and an altered immune response.” 


Whether it’s inflammation, difficulty breathing, or heart disease, both COVID-19 and obesity can cause many of the same conditions. This connection may explain why coronavirus symptoms are more much extreme for those who are obese. In fact, the CDC revealed that nearly 80% of people hospitalized, put on a ventilator, or who died from COVID-19 were overweight or obese. Conditions may persist or worsen post-coronavirus due to lingering effects such as damage to the heart muscle. 


When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 20 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics, 1 Plastic Surgeon, and 13 PA’s
  • 18,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
  • The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
  • Access to online seminars, support groups, cooking demos, and Q&A sessions
  • 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
  • Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
  • Since 2000, we boast over 20 years of success!


Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today. Together, we’ve got this!

New York Bariatric Group is implementing and enforcing strict guidelines put out by the Center of Disease Control and the Department of Health in order to keep our staff and patients safe.

We are offering in-person and virtual consultations to ensure that everyone is able to get the information and care they deserve without feeling pressure to leave their home.

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3 Realities of COVID-19 and Obesity


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

Listen to Thomas’ testimonial


Lost 76lbs

Nicole's success story

I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

Listen to Nicole’s testimonial


Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

Listen to Robert’s testimonial


Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

Listen to Samantha’s testimonial


Lost 99lbs

Eileen's success story

It saved my life.

The driving factor behind me getting my procedure was that I couldn't get up off the floor with my granddaughter. That was my why. That was my big reason for having this surgery done. After surgery, it was a little bit of a struggle with what to eat. What you put in your mouth that you don't even think about. You don't think about what you're eating or how you're eating and portion size. It's what I do now every single day. The procedure has changed my life in so many ways. It saved my life.

Listen to Eileen’s testimonial


Lost 126lbs

Brittany's success story

I am totally comfortable in my own skin.

I think I always grew up identifying myself as less than other people because I was fat. I decided to tackle that and just live my life. I had a sleeve gastrectomy. It changed how I view myself. How I communicate with people. I'm able to be much more of myself and live the life I always thought I should have been living. I am totally comfortable in my own skin. You have the tools you need to succeed here.

Listen to Brittany’s testimonial


Lost 157lbs

Desiree's success story

I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before.

I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because I had just become diabetic, and I had hypertension for many years. I lost a total of 157 pounds in 11 months. I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before. Everyone at New York Bariatric Group has been wonderful. They are kind. They are understanding. They make you feel comfortable. They will guide you every step of the way on your journey so that you can be successful.

Listen to Desiree’s testimonial

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Note: A BMI of 30 – 34.9 or BMI 35 – 39.9 with no comorbidities qualify for lap band but is usually not covered by insurance.

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