Amid online backlash, Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman has deleted his post suggesting that healthier food could save Americans from what he believes to be the “underlying problem” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Tuesday LinkedIn post, Neman shared his thoughts on the nation’s current coronavirus crisis and called for “health mandates”—which he likened to vaccine and face mask requirements implemented in cities and businesses across the country.
“78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” Neman wrote. “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?”
A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that of those hospitalized for COVID-19 between March and December 2020, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 percent were obese.
While most people who have been hospitalized or have died from COVID-19 had comorbidities, which include obesity, the spread of the latest Delta variant has resulted in severe illness in younger and healthier populations as well.
Most doctors have pointed to unvaccinated patients as the driving factor for the recent surge in hospitalizations across the U.S.
Neman said that while he is vaccinated and supports others to do the same, “no vaccine nor mask will save us” now that “COVID is here to stay for the foreseeable future.”
He wrote that our “best bet” would be to shift away from preventing infection towards “focus on overall