Shutting up is actually free, however then once more, so is posting on LinkedIn, the place Jonathan Neman, co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen, not too long ago revealed a put up — which he then took down after Vice pointed it out — primarily blaming fats folks for the ravages of the pandemic and calling on the federal government to create a “well being mandate.” (It’s attainable Neman is utilizing a paid model of LinkedIn, however my level stands!!)
The crux of his argument was so simple as it’s silly. “78% of hospitalizations because of COVID are Overweight and Chubby folks. Is there an underlying downside that maybe we now have not given sufficient consideration to?” the salad-chain founder, who made his fortune promoting $11-$15 greenback Guacamole Greens salads and Shroomami bowls, wrote. “No vaccine or masks will save us.”
Whereas excessive BMI (itself a flawed, racist metric) was categorised by the CDC as a danger issue for extreme COVID, it’s vital to notice that vaccines can, truly, save us. As reported not too long ago by CNN, information from the CDC reveals that greater than 99 % of absolutely vaccinated folks haven’t had a breakthrough COVID case leading to hospitalization or dying; latest information gathered by the New York Occasions means that the unvaccinated make up wherever from 95 % to 99 % of all COVID-related hospitalizations proper now. I’m not a CEO or something, however even I can see that’s a reasonably efficient vaccine.
Neman, who says he’s vaccinated (I suppose in case his thinness and limitless entry to kale Caesars doesn’t shield him), has fallen for and perpetuated anti-fat bias. Weight and well being aren’t synonymous, and to imagine physique dimension is a marker of well being ignores the way in which through which anti-fat bias inside the medical system harms fats folks within the first place. Fats sufferers are routinely dismissed, their signs both ignored solely or attributed to their dimension — a cycle through which these sufferers delay care, or at worst, find yourself with out medical care, their actual medical issues left untreated. It’s not arduous to think about why fats folks subjected to worse medical care over the course of their lifetime than their skinny counterparts may be extra vulnerable to COVID-19. And whereas being obese has been established as a danger issue, not less than one examine has discovered that COVID sufferers with reasonable weight problems truly had a decrease danger of dying within the ICU.
However I’ve already spent extra time enthusiastic about fats folks’s well being care wants than Neman had earlier than posting his screed, so let’s transfer on to his proposed resolution, a “well being mandate.” His concept, now stick to him right here, okay, as a result of it’s the type of courageous pondering that might solely come from a person who co-founded a salad chain that praises itself for “pondering like a tech firm” however actually is a salad chain: “What if we made the meals that’s making us sick unlawful? What if we taxed processed meals and refined sugar to pay for the impression of the pandemic?” The argument mirrors that of fellow vegetable-peddler and Complete Meals CEO John Mackey, who argued in November 2020 towards well being care being an “intrinsic moral proper” as a result of well being care wouldn’t even be needed if solely folks would change the way in which they “eat, the way in which they dwell, the approach to life, and weight-reduction plan.”
I can consider loads of the explanation why an individual who makes their cash (a number of it!) by promoting salad would need to make issues that aren’t salad unlawful, and the businesses who make meals that aren’t salad pay extra taxes. And I’m sympathetic to it, truthfully. Appears like an amazing enterprise technique, however one which, sorry to this salad man, received’t finish the pandemic.