It’s a harsh reality. Our current obesity and diabetes epidemic complicates how Americans can withstand the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the U.S., where nearly 3 out of 4 American adults are overweight or obese and 50% are diabetic or prediabetic, we are seeing adults 50 and younger experiencing higher rates of complications due to COVID-19, with the most common underlying conditions being hypertension and obesity. What we need to realize is that obesity truly is an underlying health condition, in and of itself. It compromises the immune system, it puts more stress on lungs and it makes it harder to intubate and diagnose lung issues. In fact, in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity has been an underlying health condition in more than 48% of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Now, more than ever, our current Dietary Guidelines are hurting rather than helping. Right now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services are in the process of updating the Dietary Guidelines, but they need to focus on recommendations that take into account the health of our entire population, not just the small percentage that is healthy. And lower carbohydrate, higher fat diets have some rigorous science behind them for the management and even treatment of obesity, prediabetes and diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as neurological conditions. In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which has seen the total cost of diagnosed diabetes rise to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012, acknowledges how important nutrition is in managing prediabetes and diabetes, and even suggested that low carb diets may be the answer.
It’s clear that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines need to change, or else Americans will continue to follow recommendations that will only make them sicker. Our government has the opportunity to create 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines that are backed by the strongest, most current science and nutritional recommendations we can all follow so we don’t wait another five years to get it right while healthcare costs and chronic disease rates soar.
With low carb nutrition’s personalized approach, Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 can help you lose the weight necessary to live a healthier lifestyle while managing or even eliminating chronic health conditions, and Atkins 100 is a flexible and sustainable low carb lifestyle approach that anyone can follow.