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About Junius | Nutrition

Boris Johnson announcement: Obesity and the Link with COVID

Today PM Boris Johnson highlighted the need for us as a society to address obesity as there is a clear link with poor COVID outcomes. Johnson’s announcement is also triggered by his own personal fight with COVID in April.

When it comes to combatting obesity, a high BMI and excess fat particularly around the middle are all linked to a poor COVID outcome.  Calories of course have their place but it’s the nutrient value of the food that really counts and achieving stable blood sugar balance.

All calories are not equal – for example the same number of calories from an avocado and a bar of chocolate will have very different affects in the body. Although the avocado has more calories than the chocolate bar it won’t lead to fat accumulation around the abdomen in the way that the chocolate bar will. The chocolate bar skyrockets blood sugar levels whereas the avocado is nutrient-dense with healthy fats and vitamin E, which help support immunity – these factors are far more important than calorie counting.

Abdominal fat is also known as visceral fat and is ‘metabolically active’ which means it can release inflammatory chemicals into the system, raise inflammation and increase our risk of diseases such as heart disease and obesity, both of which are significantly linked to poor COVID outcomes. Unstable blood sugar levels result in abdominal fat accumulation, which can also apply to people with a healthy BMI.

It’s important that we focus on foods that do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels, such as sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, and confectionery, rather than focusing too much on calorie counting, as there is a clear medical link between unbalanced blood sugar, obesity and reduced immunity.

Certainly Boris’s message is correct, however it’s never been more important a time to feed the roots of your health with nourishing foods and healthy drinks. Foods such as kale, turmeric, watercress, ginger, beetroot, coconut, avocado, cashews, almonds, chilli, carrots, artichoke, chia, red and green cabbage – all of which are found in our multi award winning range of cold pressed juices and shots