A landmark global study has found the UK's huge Covid-19 death toll is linked to its high obesity rates.
The World Obesity Federation findings show that countries with the most pandemic deaths have corresponding high obesity rates.
The World Health Organisation says the findings must be "a wake up call to governments" to tackle obesity which researchers blame for hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.
The UK has the third highest Covid-19 death rate in the world at 184 deaths per 100,000 people, and the fourth worst weight problem with 64% of adults overweight.
Vietnam has the lowest death rate at 0.04 per 100,000 people and the second lowest levels of adults overweight at just 18.3%.
The research showed that 90% of all global Covid-19 deaths are in countries with high obesity rates.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, said: "This report must act as a wake-up call to governments globally.
"The correlation between obesity and mortality rates from Covid-19 is clear and compelling.
"Investment in public health and co-ordinated, international action to tackle the root causes of obesity is one of the best ways for countries to build resilience in health systems post-pandemic. We urge all countries to seize this moment."
The UK has recorded 123,000 deaths from Covid-19 within 28 days of a positive test.
Only the US, Brazil, Mexico and India have higher total deaths but from much larger populations.
Britain became known as the "fat man of Europe" and calls grew for curbs on junk food manufacturers.
There has been much speculation about the difference in Covid-19 death rates between Asian and Western countries.
The authors say this international study "uncovers for the first time a common denominator in keeping death rates low".
Death rates were ten times higher in countries where 50% or more of the population is overweight.
The international study found that 2.2 million of the 2.5 million global deaths were in countries with high levels of obesity.
Johanna Ralston, chief executive of the World Obesity Federation, said: "Old age is unavoidable, but the conditions that contribute to overweight and obesity can be highly avoidable if governments step up and we all join forces to reduce the impact of this disease.
"The failure to address the root causes of obesity over many decades is clearly responsible for hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of preventable deaths.
"The most important thing as we emerge from this pandemic will be promising families who have lost loved ones and suffered severe economic pain 'never again'."
The the World Obesity Federation is also calling on governments to move people living with obesity up the priority queue for vaccinations.
Overweight populations are much more susceptible to respiratory diseases generally, including the flu.
Its report also outlined how previous viral outbreaks of MERS and H1N1 'bird flu' – which mainly affected Asia – affected overweight populations more.
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