Is The Food Industry To Blame For The Obesity Pandemic And The Severity of COVID-19?

The Lempert Report
August 07, 2020

Three researchers from the Wolfson Institute for Preventative Medicine, Queen Mary University and The London Hospital offered the argument for just that in the British Journal of Medicine.

Here’s the facts. In 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide were obese or overweight. In both the US and the UK the prevelance of being overweight and obese as reached 65-70% of adults.

The study’s co-author and Professor of Global Health Research Feng wrote that “The world is facing two pandemics. One immediately, Covid-19, and the other a longer term crisis with obesity. Clearly evidence has emerged that the two pandemics interact.” 

The researchers suggest that obesity leads to larger quantities of ACE2, the enzyme exploited by the virus for cell entry, which diminishes the immune response and reduces lung function. Obesity is also a major cause of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“The obesity pandemic is the result of living in food environments where it is difficult not to over-consume calories” they wrote, and “the global food industry produces and extensively promotes cheap, sugar sweetened beverages and ultra-processed foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fat that provide only a transient sensation of fullness.”