With everyone “going green;” why not do your part and help the environment by being thin. It turns out that being over weight contributes to global warming. Who would have thought that being thin could change the world???!!
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study showing that, because of food production and transportation factors, a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people.
Given that it takes more energy to move heavier people, transportation of heavier people requires more fuel, which creates more greenhouse gas emissions, the authors write.
More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese, the study said. Generally, the body mass index, a measure of obesity, is increasing in most countries worldwide, from China to European countries to the United States.
In 1978, a year the United States experienced an oil shock, a study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that if all overweight people in the country aged 18 to 79 reached their optimal weight, the resulting energy savings would equal 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline.
After the dieting period, about 750 million gallons of gasoline would be saved every year,said the authors, Bruce Hannon, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Timothy Lohman, now professor emeritus at the University of Arizona.
Today, research has shown that the obesity epidemic costs the United States about $100 billion a year, said Dr. Martin Donohoe of Portland State University, who runs the Web site Public Health and Social Justice. In terms of energy expenditure, the average food product travels 1,500 miles to get to your table, he said (source).
Linking obesity to the environment might strike a cord for people who are environmentally conscious. If you recycle, conserve water, drive a gas efficient car, and avoid aerosol products; then maybe the next step is food intake and exercise.
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)