Sweetgreen CEO takes down LinkedIn post connecting obesity to COVID after being labeled ‘fat-phobic’
Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Newman took down a LinkedIn post linking obesity to COVID deaths and suggested taxing and banning junk food after being labeled “fat phobic.”
Newman, the co-founder and CEO of popular salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen, has faced criticism for his statements posted on LinkedIn on Tuesday, where he makes a direct link to the country’s obesity epidemic and the COVID pandemic.
“78% of hospital admissions due to COVID are obese and overweight people,” he wrote. “Is there an underlying problem that we may have paid too little attention to? Is there another way to think about how we approach ‘health’ by tackling the root cause?’
In his now-deleted LinkedIn post, Newman said that COVID will remain for the foreseeable future and that the best way to adapt is not to try to prevent infection, but to “focus on overall health.”
Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen has more than 100 locations across the country and offers customers a wide variety of salads and bowls, with prices ranging from $9.75 to $10.95
Newman, who revealed that he had been vaccinated and supports other people’s right to be vaccinated, goes on to write that COVID-19 will continue for the foreseeable future and that the best way to adapt to a world with COVID is not trying to prevent infection, but ‘focus on overall health’.
He pointed out how quickly mask and vaccine mandates have been introduced, but how there are no so-called “health mandates.”
What if we focus on the CAUSE OF CAUSE and use this pandemic as a catalyst for creating a healthier future? ‘ he asked in his post. “We obviously have no problem with the government’s supremacy over how we live our lives in the name of ‘health,’ but we create more problems than we solve.”
He further proposes taxing and even banning junk food.
“What if we make the food that makes us sick illegal?” he continued. What if we tax processed foods and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic? What if we promote health? Fixing our food system could save us $2 trillion a year in direct costs ($1T in healthcare, $1T in environmental impact). OUR TIME IS NOW’
Newman’s controversial claim may be from March 2021 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found a link between a high Body Mass Index and the severity of COVID-19.
The CDC has previously listed obesity as a medical condition that makes you more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19.
‘The risk of serious COVID-19 disease increases sharply with an increased BMI’, the CDC warned.
CDC study finds obesity is a co-morbidity for COVID-19
About 78 percent of people who are hospitalized, need a ventilator, or have died from Covid-19 are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a March study.
Of the 148,494 adults who received a Covid-19 diagnosis during an emergency department or hospital visit at 238 U.S. hospitals from March to December 2020, 71,491 were hospitalized.
Of those admitted, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 percent were obese, according to the CDC report.
Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 or more while obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or more.
According to the agency’s most recent statistics, just over 42% of the U.S. population was considered obese in 2018. Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 or more while obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or more.
Obesity is a common and costly chronic disease in the U.S. Non-Hispanic black adults have the highest prevalence of self-reported obesity in the U.S., followed by Hispanic adults and non-Hispanic white people, according to the CDC.
“As clinicians develop care plans for COVID-19 patients, they should consider the risk of serious outcomes in patients with higher BMIs, especially for those who are severely obese,” the CDC wrote in its report.
But after that Vice.com reported on the post, it started to get negative attention, with one commenter calling it “fat phobic” and prompting the CEO to remove it.
“Yikes, this is incredibly fat phobic,” commented one person. ‘Have you thought about how our health care system systematically underestimates people who belong to those groups?’
Before deleting the post, Newman acknowledged the comment, saying it made “some good points,” defending the motivation behind the post, saying it was “intended to start a thought about how we might be different.” think about health (rather than just disease) and tackle the root causes that kill us, beyond the one that’s in the news every day (COVID),’ Business Insider reported.
Newman also faced baloney for the post on Twitter, where some people said the comments were so offensive they didn’t return to the restaurant.
Sweetgreen Hi – Just wanted to let you know that the comments your CEO made on LinkedIn about the pandemic and obesity were both ignorant and harmful. I’m not a (very regular) customer anymore,” one person tweeted.
Another person said Newman’s comments were “reckless”: “Man, I had just identified Sweetgreens as one of the few healthy alternatives in Oakland. Now their CEO is reckless prose regarding Covid as a, perhaps, obvious attempt to boost revenue. He needs to reformulate ASAP: “Get Vax’ed and change your eating habits.”
Someone else tweeted that his comments were part of a “body shaming marketing campaign”: “Sweetgreens CEO tried to say salads will save us from covid because people are overweight and as brilliant as his body shame marketing campaign, it only makes it.” about 30% off. of the hospital admissions are related to obesity, so it seems that many people would still die.’
Co-founded by in 2007, Sweetgreen currently has more than 100 locations across the country and offers customers a wide variety of salads and bowls, with prices ranging from $9.75 to $10.95.
Newman’s now-deleted post comes as COVID cases continue to rise, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant.
The growth of Covid cases in the United States has slowed over the past two weeks, with new positive tests rising just 15 percent in the past two weeks.
Cases grew 67 percent from August 2 to August 16, from 85,000 per day to 142,000 per day, and just 15 percent, from 139,000 per day to 160,000 per day from August 17 to 31.
Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Newman’s now-deleted LinkedIn post about obesity and COVID-19
78% of hospital admissions due to COVID are obese and overweight people. Is there an underlying problem that we may not have paid enough attention to? Is there another way to think about how we approach ‘healthcare’ by tackling the root cause?
1. COVID is here for the foreseeable future. We cannot run away from it and no vaccine or mask will save us (I have been vaccinated in full disclosure and support others to get vaccinated). Our best bet is to learn how best to live with it and focus on overall health versus infection prevention.
2. We quickly put in place mask and vaccine mandates, but no talk about HEALTH MANDATES. All the while, we have printed unlimited money to soften the blow the closures have caused to our country.
3. What if we focus on the CAUSE OF CAUSE and use this pandemic as a catalyst for creating a healthier future? We clearly have no problem with the government’s supremacy over how we live our lives, all in the name of ‘health’, but we create more problems than we solve. What if we make the food that makes us sick illegal? What if we taxed processed foods and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic? What if we promote health? Fixing our food system could save us $2 trillion a year in direct costs ($1T in healthcare, $1T in environmental impact).
OUR TIME IS NOW