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Sweetgreen CEO Smeared as ‘Fat-Phobic’ for Stating Truth: Obesity Increases COVID-19 Risks

Sweetgreen CEO Smeared as ‘Fat-Phobic’ for Stating Truth: Obesity Increases COVID-19 Risks

Celebrating fat in the era of COVID-19 is the equivalent to celebrating rat infestation in the era of the Black Death.

Earlier this week, I wrote about how journalist and COVID-19 analyst Alex Berenson got his wings clipped by Twitter for a tweet in which every line item had its basis in a news report.

Much earlier in my COVID-19 coverage, I cited reports that studies showed obesity substantially increased the risk of poor outcomes for infections. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that about 78% of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator, or died from Covid-19 have been overweight or obese. Other studies confirmed this trend, as an extract from that detailed post highlights.

The case-fatality rate was 9.2%, and 21% of hospitalized patients died. Obesity alone almost tripled the risk of death (aHR, 2.7), while obesity combined with other underlying illnesses increased the risk of death and other severe outcomes even further (diabetes HR, 2.79; immunosuppression HR, 5.06; high blood pressure HR, 2.30).

Furthermore, news about another study from Cleveland has just been released….confirming the 3 previous reports that I have already discussed.

According to recent Cleveland Clinic research, the risk for these long-term COVID-19 complications may be higher for those who suffer from obesity.

“Patients who had moderate or severe obesity had 30% greater risk of developing these chronic consequences of disease,” said lead author Ali Aminian of Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Aminian and his team studied a registry of nearly 3,000 people who survived COVID-19 and followed them until January 2021. Results show chronic complications from COVID-19 are extremely common — about 40% of people who survived the disease had subsequent chronic problems. Results also show risk for hospital admission after the initial phase of COVID-19 was about 30% higher in people with moderate-to-severe obesity.

Therefore, the most effective single action our press and social media could take to decrease the severity of the pandemic would be to campaign for Americans to eat wisely and exercise…preferably outdoors.

However, what do the Big Tech, social media “fact-checkers” do? They smear a CEO of a business that sells salads for speaking the truth about COVID-19 science.

Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman wrote a LinkedIn post Tuesday connecting obesity to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying “no vaccine nor mask will save us” and proposing taxes on processed food and refined sugar.

The post was deleted Wednesday, several hours after Vice published a story about it. Even before Vice’s article, commenters on Neman’s original post were calling his argument “fat-phobic.”

Sweetgreen confidentially filed for an initial public offering in June, making this an inopportune time for controversy surrounding the company. Consumer backlash could hurt both its reputation and sales, turning off investors.

Fortunately, the New York Post captured Neman’s post, which is backed up by the data I have offered in previous articles.

78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” Neman began his now-deleted LinkedIn post. “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?”

The article goes on to list three points — that COVID is endemic, that mask and vaccine mandates have been prioritized over “health mandates” and that obesity causing the pandemic should serve as an inspiration to create “a healthier future.”

Fortunately, many on social media recognize the connection between obesity and poor COVID-19 outcomes.

One of my pet peeves is commercials normalizing obesity, a condition known to cause a wide array of serious health consequences. While I can appreciate the beauty of diverse body types, those bodies should be presented at a healthy weight, especially during this pandemic. Celebrating fat in the era of COVID-19 is the equivalent of celebrating rat infestation in the era of the Black Death.

The most recent, and most egregious example, is Old Navy’s “Bode Equality” promotion.

Not all bodies are created equal. But individuals can make good choices that can increase their chances of battling COVID-19 successfully.

I would like to applaud Neman for speaking science-truth and vow to eat at Sweetgreen whenever the opportunity avails. Bravo to a brave man.


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I don’t a have a problem with him speaking out about obesity. I think it adds weight to his argument.

Follow Fuck the science, you haters!”

Ty Leslie.. there was a very sad story around these parts about a 13 year old boy… There were no pics for a few days,, but you can see for yourself..

The death of any child is terrible.. but this youngster had serious issues.

    Dathurtz in reply to amwick. | September 3, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    It is amazing how many people that are ‘perfectly healthy’ are really morbidly obese.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Dathurtz. | September 3, 2021 at 4:31 pm

      “Oh, it’s just baby fat!” I heard that at home while being fed “well”.

        Stepson is visiting with us… He has the same issue. He is morbidly obese. I don’t know how he managed to get through his battle with the virus, about a month ago.. Oddly enough it came two weeks after his vaccination.. (J&J) There is nothing his friends and family can do to convince him to address this condition. Nothing.. But children? SMH

That 78% of the people hospitalized with COVID in the US is really not surprising or necessarily that meaningful, given that according to the CDC,
73.6 percent of adults over 20 are overweight or obese (Source: Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 1960-1962 Through 2017-2018). I’m not denying that obesity and HBP increase the severity of COVID outcomes, which seems pretty clear. I do question how meaningful the 78% is – when a random sample of American adults would be 74% overweight/obese.

    CommoChief in reply to Darrell W.. | September 4, 2021 at 11:05 am


    It’s meaningful because it helps define who is at risk of severe negative health consequences from Rona. People outside the risk profile are at almost no risk. In general if one is frail elderly, overweight/obese or has a weakened immune system they are at much more risk.

    The failure of our public health community to push the message that obesity and those 15% or more from BMI are at high risk is insane. This is one of the only baseline factors that individuals can do something about to reduce their risk.

    Instead of telling the truth they downplayed it, because our no consequences culture demanded they do so. Big is beautiful body positive self esteem messaging appears to have eliminated truth telling.

Maybe it is just because of where I live, but most people have no idea what an “obese” person looks like. They imagine the. To be giant fat people, but obese is a lot smaller than a lot of people realize.

I’m fat and he is 100% correct

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to geronl. | September 3, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Ditto. I don’t mind being bearish but even so it’s a bit much.

      I also am a large bearded “bearish” fat guy….been this way since i retired from the military in 2013. Got back from my last tour in Afghanistan, got out of service and gained 140 pounds in a year….it is what it is…i’ve stabilized since then and even lost some weight but I don’t anticipate really being “normal sized” any time soon…i’m being realistic about my life at this time. With that said…though I don’t worry about my appearance and have good self-esteem overall… I still think I should lose weight in a healthy way and maybe some day i will do it, I don’t agree with the radical Left approach to glorifying obesity. I know my own way of being in this regard does me problems. Being the size I am does cause me problems and getting lighter will be better and though I’m comfortable in my skin, it is healthier to be a lighter more normative weight. More broadly (no pun intended) we are now living the logic of Herbert Marcuse (I learned this from scholar James Lindsay whose thinking I like in many ways). Even how the Afghanistan debacle has and is playing out I think aligns with Marcusan philosophy. I do feel sad about Afghanistan. I worked that issue for many years, and even learned both Pashto and Dari and was conversant in those languages and used my skills while on the ground in that country. What can I say? Its a sad time now as I see it, sad indeed.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Vince. | September 3, 2021 at 5:52 pm

        I’m 6-1. I topped out at 307. I am 273 now.

        Dathurtz in reply to Vince. | September 3, 2021 at 6:11 pm

        I uses to be in marvelous shape, but got hurt. I was eating around 6,000 calories a day to keep up with my activities. I kept eating it after I got hurt. It took me 5 years to lose what I put on in one. I still need to drop about 30. Go ahead and pull the trigger on getting back in shape. You won’t regret it

“One of my pet peeves is commercials normalizing obesity, a condition known to cause a wide array of serious health consequences. While I can appreciate the beauty of diverse body types, those bodies should be presented at a healthy weight, especially during this pandemic.”

That’s unrealistic in some cases. Some companies specialize only in this demographic (e.g., King Size, Woman Within, and Lane Bryant, just three of the companies run by Fullbeauty Brands). Say what you will, but without King Size, I would have spent much of the past 50 years wearing high-water pants over bare feet.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | September 3, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    JC Penney Big n Tall until their stuff turned to rubbishy.

    I’m long waisted and have shoulders in separate ZIP codes. Even were I my ideal 220, I need sources like that.

Unacceptable phobia coming attractions…

* Idiot-Phobic
* Stupid-Phobic
* Moron-Phobic
* Imbecile-Phobic
* Incompetent-Phobic

In our ‘fundamentally transformed’ Brave New America these phobias will no longer be allowed to hold people back from hire and promotion to the most powerful and well paid positions in America.

Think this will make the rest of the world eager to buy more American-made goods and services?

Another major milestone on the way to Idiocracy.

    paracelsus in reply to JHogan. | September 3, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    we’re already there

      And the rest of the world may be looking at what is happening in America and starting to reconsider the concept of universal suffrage.

      That is, in countries where they still conduct real elections and fraud-free voting. If there still are any such places.

        Not universal suffrage, but exceptional or superior suffrage. Handmade tales aside, under the Constitution, America has always had universal suffrage (i.e. did not discriminate by diversity class, including female sex or feminine gender, skin color, etc.).

    UserP in reply to JHogan. | September 3, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I have a phobia of German sausage

    Yes, I fear the wurst

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to UserP. | September 3, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      That phobia does not stand alone; it is linked to other issues.

        Tell be about it. I also have a speed bump phobia…
        I’m slowly getting over it.

        And a phobia about cards.
        But I’m dealing with it.

        I was gonna write a book on phobias
        But I was afraid it wasn’t going to sell

    Genderphobia has been relabeled through projection as transphobia (e.g. homophobia).

This is part and parcel of our societal demand for zero consequences to our choices. Our culture has radically rejected the concept of personal responsibility.

Students don’t study but want their F upgraded to an A. Lenders under wrote no doc home loans but want a bailout. Illegal immigrants want amnesty. Only fans ‘models’ want respect. Renters want rent forgiveness.

There is just enough strength/momentum in the system for it to continue after the stall but eventually with zero net new input it stops. The current withdrawals are based on the accumulation of cultural capital deposited over many generations.

I’m just wondering if the problem isn’t obesity, but how obese people are being treated (employing the best medical procedures available); perhaps, because this type of patient usually has respiratory problems, they should not be lying down (either prone or supine, perhaps they should be maintained/supported in an upright position, sitting or standing, to increase/improve their intake.

Everything is offensive! Stop it!

First it was old people dying. Now it is obese people getting sick. Where are they publishing this stuff? J. Duh.

Fat people eat for two people. And they eat a lot of junk in doing so,

People who eat a dozen donuts in one sitting have nothing to complain about when they’re called out for being an slobbering, unhealthy glutton.

“Fat is beautiful” and “healthy at any weight” are trans-science, politically congruent judgements and labels and comorbidities past, present, and progressive, not limited to Covid-19 cases.

Screw covid.

Staying in shape makes me a better pilot and a better shot.
Nuff said.

Just as an FYI, Sweetgreen banned bacon from its menu several years back because it’s “unhealthy”.

Antifundamentalist | September 5, 2021 at 9:25 am

If you want to take pictures of fat people at Walmart so that you can post them online and make fun of them, or yell insults out the window of a fat girl trying to exercise, or you post an online article saying “women over size 8 shouldn’t wear….”, you’re an @sshat and fat-shaming. If you tell people that obesity increases your risk for certain health conditions, they you are stating a fact. That is NOT fat shaming, that is providing information that to allow for informed decision-making in making medical and lifestyle choices. BIG differences there. Suppressing the truth doesn’t change it.