In an attached commentary to the research, Dr Barnard said: “A solid vaccination program is lifesaving, essential, and insufficient.
“Obesity and other cardiometabolic conditions are in large measure driven by food choices over which the medical profession and public health officials have seemingly no control,” he said.
“But there is reason for hope.
“It should be remembered that the anti-smoking efforts of a generation ago were immensely successful at changing attitudes and habits.
“Similarly, much of the battle against COVID-19 so far has been on the behavioural battlefield, aiming to change habits related to hygiene, masks, social behaviour, and willingness to be vaccinated.”