A challenge and opportunity for the UK to address the root causes of Covid-19

A significant population in the UK suffers from preventable illnesses associated with worse Covid-19 outcomes. A number of studies showed a significant association between Covid-19 complications and three comorbidities: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. The NHS has identified two groups as having a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19. The first group is the high risk group, referred to as clinically extremely vulnerable. The Second is the moderate risk group, described as clinically vulnerable.

The UK government‚’s policy for vulnerable groups so far has been focused on shielding, but no government-sponsored policy so far has adopted a preventative approach linked to the root causes of the three main underlying health conditions.

Attempting to counter the impact of unhealthy eating patterns on the immunity system should be highlighted as a public policy priority in the post-Covid era. Underlying illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease are correlated with a diet high in carbs and sugars. Yet, no national campaign has raised awareness on this issue, although other campaigns encouraging people to move and exercise are in place.

A public policy centered on aiming to change unhealthy eating behaviour, coupled with relevant regulations, is an urgent need to address the root cause of many underlying illnesses behind deaths and complications of Covid-19. The above challenge comes with an opportunity. The Covid-19 pandemic has already had a dramatic impact on people‚’s lifestyle, including behavioral changes such as the noticeably higher number of people dedicating regular time for exercise, either at home or in public places. The UK government can capitalise on this existing awareness, by introducing policies centered on the importance of significantly reducing unhealthy sugars and carbs as a preventive lifestyle to boost immunity against the Covid-19 or other future viruses.

 

 

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