How a healthy diet can keep the doctor away
And that isn’t the only research that Professor Spector’s done on the dietary impact of the gut. In a collaboration with Dr Sarah Berry, they conducted the first longitudinal study of the relationship between diet and COVID-19 by examining the data of nearly 600,000 people from the ZOE COVID study app.
‘Diet quality scores’ were given to each participant based on broad dietary pattern. Diets rich in plant-based foods (fruits, veg, whole grains), oily fish as well as being low in processed food and refined carbohydrates were given high scores.
These scores were compared with the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and its symptoms. The results showed that people who ate the highest quality diets were ~10% less likely to develop COVID-19, and 40% less likely to become severely ill when contracting COVID-19, highlighting how access to nutritious food impacts public health.
Another important finding was the impact of socioeconomic status. When looking at people with the lowest quality diet score, people in low-income neighborhoods were ~25% more at risk of COVID than those living in affluent communities, despite having the same ranking.
Read the full article: Eating a plant rich diet reduces risk of developing COVID-19