Updated: Mar 15, 2021
On the 24th of November 2020 15 UK doctors wrote and open letter to the government of the United Kingdom explaining that eating a plant based diet could slash the number of covid cases that become serious, that lead to hospitalisation. The letter was signed by doctors and nurses including Professor of Microbiology, Emanuel Goldman, Consultant Haematologist Dr Shireen Kassam, emerging disease specialist Professor Richard Kock and nursing expert Baroness Watkins of Tavistock also signed. The letter was also supported by the director of vegan charity Viva! Juliet Gellatley.
At the beginning of 2020 a study was published in the Obesity Reviews journal which showed that people that were considered obese and became ill with Covid-19 were more than twice as likely than people of a healthy weight to be admitted to hospital. These people were almost three times as likely to end up in intensive care and nearly twice as likely to die.
In the letter the doctors state that the plans that the government have in place now are a move in the right direction, but that they don't go far enough, people are still suffering.
“The Government is set to ban junk food adverts before 9 pm and end buy-one-get-one-free promotions,”
“These are positive steps. But, the Government’s health strategy roundly fails to mention possibly the single biggest thing as Britons we can do to tackle the obesity crisis."
“Going vegan is one of the simplest, cheapest things Britons can do to slash the risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Now more than ever before it’s time to embrace the benefits of a plant-based diet before it’s too late.”
The letter also backed the #slashtherisk campaign started by Viva! that includes vibrant billboards explaining the health benefits of a plant based diet being put up across the country.
So far there has been no public response to the letter, but, even without the government, people will still see the billboards, they will read the story in the news papers, they will hear about it in the news and, hopefully, they will take the message on-board. Hopefully, they will swap pork sausages for plant based ones, chilli con carne will be switched to chilli con soya and yogurt will be made from coconut or soy milk and not dairy. Even these small steps will make a difference to people's health, but they would make a massive difference to the animals.