Sumary of Diet may affect risk and severity of COVID-19:
- Although metabolic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes have been linked to an increased risk of COVID-19, as well as an increased risk of experiencing serious symptoms once infected, the impact of diet on these risks is unknown.
- In a recent study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in Gut, people whose diets were based on healthy plant-based foods had lower risks on both counts.
- The beneficial effects of diet on COVID-19 risk seemed especially relevant in individuals living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation.
- For the study, Merino and his colleagues examined data on 592,571 participants of the smartphone-based COVID-19 Symptom Study.
- Participants lived in the UK and the US, and they were recruited from March 24, 2020 and followed until December 2, 2020. At the start of the study, participants completed a questionnaire that asked about their dietary habits before the pandemic.
- Diet quality was assessed using a healthful Plant-BasedDiet Score that emphasises healthy plant foods such as fruits and vegetables.