Obesity and immune system impairment: A global problem during the COVID-19 pandemic
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ObesityEthics of food productionHealth nutritionCOVID-19Public health legislation
Published version: Manca, Rosa... [et al.]. ‘Obesity and Immune System Impairment: A Global Problem During the COVID-19 Pandemic’. 1 Jan. 2022 : 193 – 208. DOI [10.3233/JRS-227007]
SponsorshipOBE-S.O.S. (DER 2017-84455-R) Ministry of Economy of Spain
BACKGROUND: The production of healthy and nutritious food, in an ecologically sustainable and safe way, has become one of the great ethical issues of our time. The recent G 20 urged the “promotion and work on the social determinants of health to address other critical health issues such as food and nutrition”. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work is to analyze the current scientific literature regarding the role of obesity in the severe COVID-19 outcomes. In the light of the indications of the G20, the main causes of obesity are examined, and lifestyles are suggested with particular regard to proper nutrition in order to prevent/treat overweight since childhood. METHODS: Multidisciplinary work, in which the biological and legal perspectives provide a meta-legal analysis of the obesity problem. RESULTS: Unhealthy habits induce metabolic imbalance and increase in the body weight promoting obesity. This condition is the result of many factors (genetic predisposition, social position and “junk food” consumption) and is associated with a high risk of diseases, among them exacerbations from viral respiratory infections, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS : The industrial food revolution changed our eating habits, leading to production of too much unhealthy food, absent in ancient diet, thus contributing to the onset of some disorders. The business of food industry should be downsized in favor of morally or ethically fair choices for consumers and for the well-being of society, together with an ethical food distribution, governmental food education programs, and balanced oversight of food production.