Wear a mask, social distance, get vaccinated, sanitize often; these are the common talking points we have all heard over and over to avoid spreading covid-19 and avoiding personal infection.
Can you guess which important health that advice has been missing?
While only a small portion of the US population has had covid-19, We may soon realize that as we approach herd immunity, far more of the population has recovered from the disease than we may realize due to testing and other diagnostic limitations. Others have been vaccinated which markedly reduces the health risks of the disease for themselves and those they are surrounded by.
The group most at risk are seniors over 65. Coincidentally, this group also shares a common American disease; Obesity.
Obesity and Covid-19
Obesity and metabolic syndrome with insulin resistance affect the gut, the bugs in the gut that are important to how we absorb food and our general health. The result is inflammation which causes many of the common disease processes people have and weakened immune response. In other words, a metabolic syndrome that is more common in older Americans may be the reason more older Americans are at greater risk with Covid-19.
If we know that obesity, vitamin D deficiency, and metabolic syndrome place us at high risk, why isn’t eating healthier and having a better diet not part of the conversation about avoiding the harmful effects of Covid-19?
Many diseases are linked to sugar and processed foods that are high in calories but low in nutritional value. The disease of metabolic syndrome is more costly when treated medically, vs. improving the quality of the foods Americans eat. Poor dietary habits are part of American dietary culture.
When we offer food stamps, people buy cheaper processed foods due to affordability and then we treat it medically at a much higher cost. Meanwhile, much of our food goes to waste or is frozen and sold through supermarkets or processed for other uses.
Covid-19 showed us how vulnerable we can be from a compromised immune system. Low vitamin D levels and insulin resistance with inflammation are the perfect formulae for becoming a victim of covid-19.
According to the NY Times, personal health is the wake-up call regarding the link between obesity, health, and disease. Will we heed that warning and make this part of our national policy? Will Dr. Fauci consider becoming a crusader to make Americans healthier through diet? Check out this NY Times article.
The Pandemic as a Wake-Up Call for Personal Health
Too many Americans fail to take measures to combat obesity, the second leading risk factor for death from Covid-19.
By Jane E. Brody
March 15, 2021
The pandemic has shed a blinding light on too many Americans’ failure to follow the well-established scientific principles of personal health and well-being. There are several reasons this country, one of the world’s richest and most highly developed, has suffered much higher rates of Covid-19 infections and deaths than many poorer and less well-equipped populations.
Older Americans have been particularly hard hit by this novel coronavirus. When cases surged at the end of last year, Covid-19 became the nation’s leading cause of death, deadlier than heart disease and cancer.
But while there’s nothing anyone can do to stop the march of time, several leading risk factors for Covid-19 infections and deaths stem from how many Americans conduct their lives from childhood on and their misguided reliance on medicine to patch up their self-inflicted wounds.