Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman was caught in controversy early this month after the salad executive linked the severity of the coronavirus pandemic with high levels of obesity.
“[Seventy-eight percent] of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” Neman wrote in an Aug. 31 deleted LinkedIn post citing March data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Is there an underlying problem that perhaps we have not given enough attention to? Is there another way to think about how we tackle ‘healthcare’ by addressing the root cause?”
While the root cause Newman indicted as the underlying culprit in the COVID crisis was obesity, Newman’s own diagnosis of the problem is fertilized by the proliferation of a cultural movement to both normalize obesity and demonize its opposition as “fat-phobic.” Newman himself became the latest target of the left’s nefarious feel-good crusade for daring to raise alarm over the nation’s ballooning crisis, while obesity triples an individual’s risk to hospitalization with COVID-19.
“This post is disgusting,” one LinkedIn user wrote back, according to Business Insider.
“Yikes, this is incredibly fat-phobic,” wrote another. “Have you considered how our healthcare system systematically underserves people who are considered to be in those groups?”
Has the race-obsessed left considered that its pro-fat movement systemically promotes obesity to the very people it claims to champion? If it had, pro-fat posts like the ones below would have likely sent a different message.
Before and after weight loss photos are fatphobic pic.twitter.com/fKw4IE0obx
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) September 20, 2021
Finding fat people unattractive is racist pic.twitter.com/nsGk16UHyY
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) June 14, 2021
The CDC offered new data corroborating accelerated trends in childhood obesity last week, where researchers found the rate of body mass index (BMI) increase nearly doubled for those aged 2-19 over the course of the pandemic.
The CDC study is confirmation of a trend suggested by researchers at the University of California and the University of Michigan in August, who found that the number of children aged 5-11 who qualified as obese went from 36 percent pre-pandemic to 46 percent over the course of prolonged classroom closures which disproportionately impacted low-income and underprivileged families. CDC researchers found children among approximately the same group (6-11) experienced the most weight gain — two-and-a-half times higher than pre-pandemic rates, which were already at a high baseline with more than a third considered obese or overweight.
A look at the CDC’s overall data on obesity reveals the highest prevalences of obesity are among minorities, as rates skyrocket on the heels of a pandemic that saw liberal elites shutting down gyms. According to the agency’s latest aggregate data on obesity from 2017-2018 (which offers a glimpse of levels before the coronavirus), “Non-Hispanic Black adults (49.6 percent) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanic adults (44.8 percent), non-Hispanic White adults (42.2 percent) and non-Hispanic Asian adults (17.4 percent).”
The same racial disparity is highlighted in the CDC’s 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps published earlier this month (and shown below), which get progressively darker to illustrate obesity’s increasing rates from white to Hispanic to African-American populations.
As a primary comorbidity to COVID and often a culprit condition to long-term illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, you’d think obesity would be the target of a leftist campaign under the moral righteousness of social justice. Michelle Obama tried. Instead, the feelings-based body positivity movement perpetuated by liberals has positioned the next generation to grow up in even worse shape than their parents, who’ve normalized a pandemic of obesity firmly rooted in the culture.
Neman is far from the only figure to face a public backlash against the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Even Lizzo came under fire when the pop star singer went on a juice cleanse. Fans complained their body-positive celebrity was participating in a toxic “diet culture” after they criticized fitness guru Jillian Michaels for suggesting several months prior that Lizzo should be celebrated for her music instead of her weight.
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That’s what I’m saying. Like, why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest,” said Michaels on a BuzzFeed talk show. “I love her music. My kids love her music. There’s never a moment where I’m like ‘I’m so glad she’s overweight!’ Like, why do I even care?”
.@JillianMichaels on Lizzo: "Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren't we celebrating her music? 'Cause it isn't gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes." pic.twitter.com/FkKBd8J87b
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) January 8, 2020
It was a good question offered three months before a pandemic would put millions of obese Americans, more of whom were minorities, at higher risk than those of an otherwise healthy weight from a novel virus.