Sweetgreen CEO takes down LinkedIn post connecting obesity to COVID after being labeled ‘fat-phobic’


Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Newman took down a LinkedIn post where he tied obesity to COVID deaths and suggested taxing and outlawing junk food after he was labeled ‘fat-phobic.’

Newman, the co-founder and CEO of popular salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen, faced backlash for his statements posted to LinkedIn on Tuesday, where he makes a direct connection to the country’s obesity epidemic and the COVID pandemic.  

‘78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,’ he posted. ‘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?’ 

In his now-deleted LinkedIn post, Newman said that COVID is here to stay for the foreseeable future and that the best way to adapt is not to try to prevent infection but ‘focus on overall health’

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen has over 100 locations across the country and offers customers a wide variety of salads and bowls, with prices ranging from $9.75 to $10.95

Jonathan Newman, (pictured) co-founder and CEO of popular salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen, faced backlash for his statements posted on LinkedIn on Tuesday

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen has over 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 disclosed that he was vaccinated and supports other people’s right to be vaccinated, goes on to write that COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future and that the best way to adapt to a world with COVID is not to try to prevent infection but ‘focus on overall health.’

He pointed out how quick mask and vaccine mandates have been put into place but how there is no so-called ‘health mandates.’ 

‘What if we focused on the ROOT CAUSE and used this pandemic as a catalyst for creating a healthier future?? ‘ he asked in his post. ‘We clearly have no problem with government overreach on how we live our lives all in the name of ‘health’, however we are creating more problems than we are solving.’

He goes on to suggest taxing and even outlawing junk food.  

‘What if we made the food that is making us sick illegal?’ he continued. ‘What if we taxed processed food and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic? What if we incentivized health? Repairing our food system could save us $2 Trillion a year in direct costs ($1T in Healthcare, $1T in Environmental Impact). OUR TIME IS NOW’ 

CDC study finds obesity IS a comorbidity for COVID-19

About 78 percent of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died from Covid-19 have been overweight or obese, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a March study. 

Among the 148,494 adults who received a Covid-19 diagnosis during an emergency department or inpatient visit at 238 U.S. hospitals from March to December 2020, 71,491 were hospitalized.

Of those who were admitted, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 percent were obese, according to the CDC report. 

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or more, while obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more.

Just over 42% of the U.S. population was considered obese in 2018, according to the agency’s most recent statistics. Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or more, while obesity is defined as having 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, the CDC said.

 ‘As clinicians develop care plans for COVID-19 patients, they should consider the risk for severe outcomes in patients with higher BMIs, especially for those with severe obesity,’ the CDC wrote in it’s report.

Newman’s controversial assertion may come from a March 2021 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found a correlation between high Body Mass Index and severity of COVID-19. 

The CDC has previously listed obesity as a medical condition that can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. 

‘The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI,’ the CDC warned. 

But after Vice.com reported on the post, it began to get negative attention, with one commenter calling it ‘fat-phobic’ leading the CEO to delete it. 

‘Yikes, this is incredibly fat-phobic,’ one person commented. ‘Have you considered how our healthcare system systematically underserves people who are considered to be in those groups?’  

Before deleting the post, Newman acknowledged the comment and said it made ‘some good points,’ and defended the motivation behind the post, saying it ‘was meant to be a thought-starter on how we could think of health differently (instead of just sickness) and attack the root causes that are killing us beyond the one in the news every day (COVID),’ Business Insider reported.  

Newman also faced flack for the post on Twitter, where some people said the comments were so offensive they were not returning to the restaurant.

‘Sweetgreen Hi – I just want to let you know that the comments your CEO made on LinkedIn regarding the pandemic and obesity were both ignorant and harmful. I am no longer a (very regular) customer,’ one person tweeted.

Another person said Newman’s comments were ‘reckless’: ‘Man, I had just ID’ed Sweetgreens as one of the very few healthy alternative in Oakland. Now their CEO drops reckless prose regarding Covid as a, perhaps, obvious attempt to increase revenues. He needs to rephrase asap, ‘Get Vax’ed and change your eating habits.’  

Someone else tweeted that his comments were part of a ‘body shaming marketing campaign’: ‘The sweetgreens ceo tried to say salads will save us from covid because people are too obese and as brilliant as his body shame marketing campaign comes off only around 30% of hospitalizations are linked to obesity so idk seems like alot of people still would die.’

Co-founded by in 2007, Sweetgreen currently has over 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 surge, driven by the highly transmissible delta variant.  

Growth of Covid cases in the United States has slowed over the past two weeks, with new positive tests only rising 15 percent over the past two weeks.

Cases grew by 67 percent from August 2 to August 16, from 85,000 per day to 142,000 per day, and only 15 percent, 139,000 per day to 160,000 per day from August 17 to 31.   

Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Newman’s now deleted LinkedIn post on obesity and COVID-19 

78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people. 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?

 1. COVID is here to stay for the foreseeable future. We cannot run away from it and no vaccine nor mask will save us (in full disclosure I am vaccinated and support others to get vaccinated). Our best bet is to learn how to best live with it and focus on overall health vs preventing infection. 

 2. We have been quick to put in place Mask and Vaccine Mandates but zero conversation on HEALTH MANDATES. All the while we have printed unlimited money to soften the blow the shutdowns have caused to our country. 

3. What if we focused on the ROOT CAUSE and used this pandemic as a catalyst for creating a healthier future?? We clearly have no problem with government overreach on how we live our lives all in the name of ‘health’, however we are creating more problems than we are solving. What if we made the food that is making us sick illegal? What if we taxed processed food and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic? What if we incentivized health? Repairing our food system could save us $2 Trillion a year in direct costs ($1T in Healthcare, $1T in Environmental Impact). 

OUR TIME IS NOW



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button