The importance of lifestyle enters into the debate about the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. Many reports of viral deaths are attributed loosely to underlying conditions exemplified by the presence of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes/prediabetes, and obesity which is surmised to increase the mortality risks of the virus. These are the leading causes of death in the U.S. and are collectively referred to as chronic diseases.
“Poor diet, a lifestyle factor among others, is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, causing more than half a million deaths per year. Just 10 dietary factors are estimated to cause nearly 1,000 deaths every day from heart disease, stroke and diabetes alone. These conditions are dizzyingly expensive. Cardiovascular disease costs $351 billion annually in health care spending and lost productivity, while diabetes costs $327 billion annually. The total economic cost of obesity is estimated at $1.72 trillion per year, or 9.3 percent of gross domestic product.” NYT.