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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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Our team is happy to speak with you and help you understand any of the treatments we offer, or answer any questions you have. Please call and speak with us at 800-633-8446, or read more about the surgical and non-surgical options we offer here.

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What our patients are saying

“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

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"Dr. Holover has a great personality, I love him, I consider him a good friend, and I recommend him to everyone. He and his staff are amazing. I thought my recovery would be worse, but it wasn’t. It was great. After a couple of days I was back on my feet and going, with three boys you don’t have time to be down. Now, my kids have to keep up with me!"

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"My results are incredible; I can go to any store and find clothes that fit, I don’t have to go to the big and tall store anymore. My family and friends say I look great, but more so are so happy about my health. Definitely go for it, it is well worth it."

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"My recovery was very easy, I started moving around pretty quick because the nurses had me up and about. Dr. Angstadt has a great bedside manner, a cheerful disposition and is very knowledgeable. He was genuinely concerned for me, he answered all of my questions and put me at ease. I couldn’t be happier, I think it is the best decision I ever made."

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"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

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"I had a couple of friends who had bariatric surgery done by Dr. Garber a few years back and I decided to make the appointment. My favorite thing about the surgery is not being able to eat that much, eating whatever I want but in smaller portions. My results are amazing"

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*Individual results may vary.

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