People following unhealthy dietary habits are more vulnerable to death caused by COVID-19; India is at high risk

by Shatakshi Gupta

An Indian-origin UK based Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra tells that unhealthy food is one of the major cause that makes people more prone to death due to COVID-19. He warned India and advised to reduce the consumption of processed food. He said “obesity and excess weight was the ‘elephant in the room’ that needs to be addressed as a major factor behind the deaths from the coronavirus”. He told that High blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease make people more vulnerable to death if such people contract COVID-19, he said that all these three have roots somewhere in excess body fat. In US and UK more than 60 percent of population is overweighed, which is why these countries are reflecting high death rates in their tally.

He pointed out that in  United States only one in eight persons is metabolically health, which means such person has normal blood sugar level, normal blood pressure, good cholesterol level and a good weight circumference.  Dr. Malhotra’s findings can be substantiated by a study which was published in ‘Nature’ , it tells that people with Type -2 diabetes and those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome are 10 times more vulnerable to death caused by COVID-19 than others.

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Doctor said that the medications provided to Type-2 diabetes patients make them safer to a marginal extent only and also these medicines come with several side effects, so the only possible way is to change food habits. He particularly raised concerns over Indian food habits, as Indians intake food with high unsaturated carbohydrates which comes from flour  and white rice. Such food increase blood sugar levels which leads to Type-2 diabetes. He further warned Indians from consuming packaged food as these food contains high amount of sugar, starch, unhealthy oils, additives and preservatives. Dr. Malhotra also emphasized on the fact that medical practitioners in India do only rely on medications and side-line the eating habits, which is a worrisome point.

He said that opting a healthy lifestyle is very imperative at this point of time and it is not very difficult to adopt, it only takes two to three weeks to manage your overweight and also he said that one should not be in illusion of protection if that person has BMI(BODY MASS INDEX) in normal range because this is now an outdated measurement, we should worry about excess body fat especially around waist as this is much more detrimental to health.

 He advised that Indians should swap their staple foods with more fruits and vegetables. He said “So, what I would advise the Indian population is to completely cut out these types of food from their diet, make sure that you are cooking from scratch, do not snack.”