Monday, April 20, 2009

Give Earth Some Slack, Jack - Be Groovy, Baby

Researchers decided to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of the 40% obese British population and compare the results to those of the 1970s, when only 3.5% of the population was obese. The results were pretty staggering: the current population uses nearly 20% more "food energy" than that of the '70s, which equates to nearly 60 megatons of emissions! The transportation costs of supplying this food added another 1/2-1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions! But there is a caveat.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) of the population has also increased, and not just in the UK, all over the world. This means people, in general, are bigger than they were some three-four decades ago. And while the researchers involved preferred to say they were getting "fatter," we have all noticed how much younger kids are developing. You can also see great differences in musculature and so forth in athletes and fitness freaks. It is not fair to say people are "getting fatter" as a blanket statement; it is fair to say people are bigger than we were in the 1970s.

Still, the basic concept is correct in that we should scale-back to the obesity percentages and so forth of the 1970s. Back then, we ate larger portions of vegetables and smaller portions of meat. Changing that much of your diet can help both you and the planet.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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