The report found that every country where less than 40% of the population was overweight had a low Covid-19 death rate of no more than 10 people per 100,000.
But in countries where more than 50% of the population was overweight, the Covid-19 death rate was much higher — more than 100 per 100,000.
The researchers say that being overweight can also worsen other health issues and viral infections, like H1N1, flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
The World Obesity Forum suggests prioritizing those living with obesity for Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
“An overweight population is an unhealthy population, and a pandemic waiting to happen,” the group writes.
In the US, close to three-quarters of the population is either overweight or obese, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.