Want to Reduce Your Risk for Severe COVID? Try Real Food and Exercise.

by | Nov 10, 2021 | News Briefs

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A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association estimated that four health conditions that could be improved by diet—diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart failure—were a factor in nearly two-thirds of COVID hospitalizations.

Last April Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, was suffering such severe symptoms of COVID-19 that he was admitted to intensive care. Happily, he recovered—but unlike other leaders made ill by the virus, he began to speak publicly about the connections between his illness, his health and his diet.

Small changes could help Britons feel healthier and fitter, he tweeted, adding. “If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS.”

By July, his government had announced a “Better Health” campaign with strategies including a ban on advertisements for processed junk foods online or on television during peak viewing times for children.

Much has been made of the connections between pre-existing health conditions and bad outcomes from COVID infection. A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association estimated that four health conditions that could be improved by diet—diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart failure—were a factor in nearly two-thirds of COVID hospitalizations.

An August report from the General Accountability Office (GAO) noted that Americans with chronic health conditions that could be prevented by healthy diet and exercise were 12 times more likely to die from COVID. It also identified fragmentation and lack of coordination among more than 200 federal efforts to address diet.

The GAO called for “development and implementation of a federal strategy for diet-related efforts aimed at reducing Americans’ risk of chronic health conditions.”

Ideally, such a strategy would become part of COVID messaging from public health officials, currently focused on vaccination and masking. “They hardly ever talk about prevention,” said Dan Glickman, a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “It’s missing. It’s a gigantic gap in the discussion about how health care relates to COVID and how it relates to the prevention of disease.”

Fortunately, you don’t need to wait for a federal strategy before you make changes to your lifestyle that could help prevent chronic disease and the worst effects of COVID. You can find eBooks, courses and health news at eSavvyHealth.com that can help you make better choices.

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

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The Fundamentals of Health Alliance works to publish useful and reliable information about nutrition and health. Their mission is to empower readers to be informed with honest, non-biased information about food, nutrition and the vital components of health.

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