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Your Diet’s Role in Conronavirus Risk

Callalloo image from Yumly.com
Credit: Yumly.com

An April 20, 2020 New York Times article, summarized below, discussed how poor diet contributes to coronavirus risk. It also touched on why soaring rates of metabolic disease is an often overlooked reason for the high risk of Covid-related illness and death among African-Americans and people in poor communities.

What are the characteristics of metabolic disease and inflammation?
“The characteristics are excess fat around the middle, hypertension, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and a poor cholesterol profile, which suppress the immune system and increase the risk of infections, pneumonia and cancers. They’re all associated with low-grade, body-wide inflammation, and Covid kills by causing an overwhelming inflammatory response that disables the body’s ability to fight off pathogens.”

Can sheltering in place also decrease metabolic well-being?
“The metabolic well-being of many Americans is now further endangered by…. an increased reliance on canned and packaged foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and emotional distress that prompts some people to turn to nutritionally questionable [comfort foods].”

What do we need to do?
“In other words, consuming a more wholesome diet is a win-win investment. And there’s no better time to make it than now, as the country begins the struggle to get back on a healthful footing.”

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