(WLUK) -- Wisconsinites with chronic conditions are now eligible for the COVID vaccine, one of those being a body mass index of 25 and over.
This was determined by analyses from the CDC.
"Over the last year, they have done analyses and found certain conditions most certainly put people at serious risk, and other conditions that likely put people at serious risk. When we were making our decisions about which conditions to include, we included both groups," Wisconsin DHS deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said.
Obesity falls under that first group.
"Clearly, increased risk. And then the case of people being overweight, it was in the most likely increased risk. And so we did not split the difference and included both of those groups," Van Dijk said.
Sixty-seven percent of Wisconsinites fall under the overweight or obese category in terms of BMI.
Dr. Richa Aggarwal, a psychiatrist and eating disorder expert at Rogers Behavioral Health, says the pandemic is the perfect storm for any crisis. Feeling negatively about your BMI could add to that.
"There are many reasons why someone could have a higher BMI. It could be a disease in itself," Dr. Aggarwal said.
Dr. Aggarwal says there are myths going around that a BMI above 30 correlates with an eating disorder, but says they are not true.
"They are two very separate things. A BMI above 30 might mean that somebody is having a lot of other reasons why that could be there," Dr. Aggarwal said.
She says that there's no reason to be ashamed about it, and it should not be the reason to not get the vaccine.
"Let's stay away from that judgment, let's stay away from that mind-reading, and do what is right for us to be normal and get back to where we need to for all of us," Dr. Aggarwal said.
Dr. Aggarwal encourages those who are struggling with anxiety about their BMI to contact their health care provider.