Global Shift to Obesity Packs Serious Climate Consequences
Expanding waistlines are not just tipping scales but may also push the mercury higher around the world, according to a new study. As humanity becomes more rotund, more resources are needed to cool, nourish and transport the extra weight, a trend that can contribute to climate change by requiring the consumption of more fossil fuels and resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions.
Emerging economies are nudging their way into this movement as they seek the trappings of modern prosperity – personal cars, sedentary air-conditioned office jobs and fast-food – through dirty energy. Now a paper published this week in BMC Public Health calculates how human populations have grown in number and size, teasing out how obesity contributes to human biomass and the extra energy needed to sustain that heft.