Owing to limited data, we conducted a meta-analysis to re-evaluate the relationship between obesity and coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19). Literature published between 1 January 2020 and 22 August 2020 was comprehensively analysed, and RevMan3.5 was used for data analysis. A total of 50 studies, including data on 18 260 378 patients, were available. Obesity was associated with a higher risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection (odds ratio (OR): 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–1.54; P < 0.00001) and increased severity of COVID-19 (hospitalisation rate: OR: 2.45, 95% CI 1.78–3.39; P < 0.00001; severe cases: OR: 3.74, 95% CI 1.18–11.87; P: 0.02; need for intensive care unit admission: OR: 1.30, 95% CI 1.21–1.40; P < 0.00001; need for invasive mechanical ventilation: OR: 1.59, 95% CI 1.35–1.88; P < 0.00001 and mortality: OR: 1.65, 95% CI 1.21–2.25; P: 0.001). However, we found a non-linear association between BMI and the severity of COVID-19. In conclusion, we found that obesity could increase the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection and aggregate the severity of COVID-19. Further studies are needed to explore the possible mechanisms behind this association.