How nutrition can protect people’s health during COVID-19

13 May 2020 Global

Photo: Sambrian Mbaabu/World BankPhoto: Sambrian Mbaabu/World Bank

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The notion that nutritious and safe diets support good health has been around at least since antiquity, as this quote, often misattributed to Hippocrates, attests. What to eat – and not to eat – regularly grabs news headlines, as consumers try to balance scientific advice and marketing trends with their own culinary traditions, pocketbooks, and local food options.

Now, with so many people falling ill from the coronavirus (COVID-19), unhealthy diets are contributing to pre-existing conditions that put them more at risk.  And in much of the world, illness also means loss of income. Hence the pandemic has raised the stakes for consumers, producers, and policymakers worldwide. What would it take to get healthy food right? Answers to this question are as pressing and relevant as ever.

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