This global pandemic has brought the idea of American exceptionalism a new significance. The United States is much worse off than other nations and holds a disproportionate share of the infectious disease burden — only 4 percent of the world population, and almost a quarter of infectious Covid-19 deaths at the time of publishing. There comes the talk about the American food system.
Although much of the argument has been based on the flat-footed reaction of our government and poor public health services, this lacks a major and unrecognized risk factor — the extremely poor baseline health of the population of our country.
The prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases such as asthma , heart disease and obesity was among the most important risk factors for hospitalization and mortality in Covid-19. The starting-point for America? About three in four American adults are obese or overweight.
The American food system is somehow at fault
Nearly half of people in the United States have diabetes, or pre-diabetes. A 2018 study showed that only 12 percent of Americans are metabolically stable, which is characterized as having ideal blood marker and blood pressure rates as well as waist circumference. Diet-related illnesses are not the things you need to think about down the line any more. Next week, they could hasten death in a pandemic climate. Is this due to the American food system?
Low metabolic health, in part, results from unhealthy diets and inadequate nutrition. Even as baseline chronic illness conveys a bad result for Covid-19 people. Our food supply is the pre-existing disorder in our world that places us all at greater risk. As doctors and chefs, we believe that tackling diet deprivation in America head on is now more important than ever.
While food insecurity is about having more food, nutrition insecurity is about providing the right food so we and our kids can create the metabolic heath we need to help survive this and other pandemics.
Many of our current food programs were born in the 1940’s with fears over national security. We were conceptualized during a period of total caloric scarcity where, due to malnutrition and underweight. As many as 40% of military applicants were ineligible for operation. Initiatives such as the National School Lunch Program. Also the Modern Food Stamp Program and other programs for nutritional assistance soon followed.