Data from the 2,204 patients admitted to 286 NHS intensive care units with Covid 19 reveals 73 percent fell into this category. It prompted health experts to warn of the dangers of eating too much processed and junk food. Dr Aseem Malhotra, NHS consultant cardiologist and Professor of Evidence Based Medicine, has called for public health messaging to be urgently updated in the light of the epidemic to ensure people are eating nutritious whole foods in an attempt to reduce risk and subsequent death rates.
He said: “What is staggering is after looking at all the data it is irrefutable that metabolic disease is the leading cause of mortality from Covid-19. This covers much of what we are already being told, that outcomes for patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are far worse than in otherwise healthy adults. What is not being spelled out is that poor diet and obesity is behind this.
“By immediately cutting out sugar and ultra-processed food and preparing fresh meals, the impact on health can be seen in just a matter of weeks.”
Ultra-processed food, usually packaged and containing five or more ingredients with additives and preservatives which are energy-dense, high in unhealthy types of fat, refined starches, free sugars and salt, and poor sources of protein, dietary fibre and micronutrients, now make up half of all British diets.
With tens of millions of people now forced to stay at home during lockdown many are turning to convenience food and putting themselves at risk.
In a rallying call health experts said official guidance should be urgently changed so people slash sugar, refined carbohydrates and junk food and switch to a whole food diet abundant in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy and plenty of protein from pulses, fish, meat, and eggs, to improve their health within weeks to help protect themselves if they contract the coronavirus.