As Mr. Vilsack said, “The time has come for us to quickly change the food system in this country.”
At the onset of the epidemic, when most businesses and entertainment venues were forced to close, toilet paper was not the only item stripped from the shelves. The country suddenly faced a shortage of flour and yeast as millions of Americans “stuck” at home, went on a baking frenzy. While I understood their need to relieve stress, felt productive and to help others less able or willing, bread, muffins and cookies were not the most nutritious products that probably originated from Epidemic Kitchen.
When calorie-rich foods and snacks are at home, they can be difficult to resist when there is little else to release the pleasure-enhancing brain chemicals. Not surprisingly, the rate of smoking also increased during the epidemic, posing another risk of sensitivity to Kovid.
And there has been A run on alcoholic beverages. During a week in March 2020, the national sales of alcohol were 54 percent higher than a year earlier. Harris Poll confirmed that almost one adult drank more alcohol than usual to cope with epidemic-related stress. Not only is alcohol a source of empty calories of nutrients, its intense intake can lead to careless behavior that increases susceptibility to kovid.
Well before the epidemic prompted an increase in calorie consumption, Americans were feeling significantly more calories each day thanks to the ready availability of ultra-processed foods, especially those that tease , “You can’t eat just one” “(Example: Corn on the cob is unprocessed, canned corn is minimally processed, but Doritos are ultra-processed).
In a while but Carefully designed diet study, Kevin D. Hall and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health gave 20 adult diets that were rich in ultra processed foods or unprocessed foods that matched for calories, sugar, fat, sodium, fiber, and protein content. Asked to eat as much as they wanted, random participants took 500 calories more in a day on an ultra-processed diet.
If you have been reading my column for years, you already know that I am not a fanatic for food. There are many containers of ice cream in my freezer; Cookies, crackers and even chips in my cupboard; And I enjoy burgers every now and then. But my daily diet is mainly based on vegetables, fish, beans and nonfat milk are my main sources of protein. My consumption of snacks and ice cream is partially controlled and, with daily exercise, has enabled me to remain weight-stable despite year-round epidemic stress and occasional disappointment.
As Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at the University of New York, says Emrita, “It’s not rocket science.” She does not promote scarcity, only moderation (except for a total ban on soda). “We need a national policy aimed at preventing obesity,” he told me, “a national campaign to help all Americans get healthy.”