Rising obesity rates worldwide may be contributing to the climate crisis, researchers report.
”Our analysis shows that in addition to the beneficial effects on disease mortality and health care costs obesity management can also affect the environment better, ”said study corresponding author Faidon Magkos, from the department of nutrition, exercise, and sports at the University of Copenhagen, in Danmark.
Like other oxygen-dependent creatures, humans emit carbon dioxide that’s produced by metabolic processes necessary to live, the scientists explained.
The amount of Carbon dioxide-a green gas- Produced by a species, its average metabolic rate is determined by the average body size and the total number of species.
Obesity produces more carbon dioxide than normal weight, researchers say,
Also, obese people consume large quantities of food and drinks that need to be prepared and delivered and the transportation of obese people requires more supply of consumption of fossil fuel. The study’s authors explain that this means carbon dioxide emissions related to food production and transportation for obesity.
The researchers estimated that obesity contributes to an extra 700 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions per year worldwide, or about 1.6% of all human-caused emissions.
Overall, being obese is associated with about 20% more greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) than being a normal weight, according to the study published online Dec. 20 in the journal Obesity.
There are important implications for all involved in managing obesity.
Researchers emphasize that these findings should not lead to more disrespect for obese people who already face negative attitudes and discrimination.
Ted Kyle is the founder of Conscience Health, an organization that works to find a stable perspective on health and obesity. ”This study makes it clear that we pay a great price for having difficulty accessing obesity care not only obesity can contribute to the health of its victims, not only does obesity affect the health of the individuals who have it, untreated obesity might also contribute to environmental issues,” said Kyle.