April 27, 2009

Fatties support global warming

A recent paper, Population adiposity and climate change, published online by british epidemiologists on the International Journal of Epidemiology is giving rise to various controversies.

The authors of the study compared a "normal" population with mean BMI of 24.5 and 3.5% obese with a population with a mean BMI of 29 and 40% obese. The first reflects the UK situation in the 1970s, the second the predicted one for 2010.

Assuming that energy expenditure increases with BMI because of the increase of basal metabolic rate, and that transport energy consumption increases when there is a greater mass to move, the result is that

Greenhouse gas emissions from food production and car travel due to increases in adiposity in a population of 1 billion are estimated to be between 0.4 and 1.0 Giga tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

The study has obvious limits. Nonetheless it points out how the increase of BMI in the population can be considered also from an ecological point of view. I think this could help some people get a new reason of motivation to keep under control their weight.


Links:
International Journal of Epidemiology website.
A controversy raised by the Covert Rationing Blog

Photocredits: Mr TGT under Creative Commons

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