Considerations for Obesity, Vitamin D, and Physical Activity Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jul;28(7):1176-1177. doi: 10.1002/oby.22838. Epub 2020 May 21.


As the biomedical community races to disentangle the unknowns associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus responsible for causing coronavirus disease, the link between diminished immune function and individuals with obesity raises important questions about the possibility for greater viral pathogenicity in this population. Increased adiposity may undermine the pulmonary microenvironment wherein viral pathogenesis and immune cell trafficking could contribute to a maladaptive cycle of local inflammation and secondary injury. A further challenge to those with obesity during the current pandemic may involve vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. In the interest of personal and public health, we caution decision- and policy makers alike not to pin all hope on a proverbial "silver bullet." Until further breakthroughs emerge, we should remember that modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity should not be marginalized. Decades of empirical evidence support both as key factors promoting health and wellness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Life Style
  • Nutritional Status
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / virology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / virology*


  • Vitamin D