Friday, May 16, 2008

The world in a fat lot of trouble

The world's obese get blamed for a lot - now they are picking up the tab for global warming. The BBC report. Blaming the obese for the world's food shortage appears to be a rather cheap (if not logical) shot.

If all those considered over weight stopped eating immediately I doubt that food prices would plummet although it might be easier to get a seat in a fast food restaurant.

If I was asked how many calories, above average, obese people consume I would have guessed higher than the figure mentioned below. Have a guess before reading on.

Getting hammered for additional fuel use is really rubbing it in.

Obese blamed for the world's ills [BBC]

Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the obese consume 18% more calories than average.

They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil.

The result is that the poor struggle to afford food and greenhouse gas emissions rise, the Lancet reported.

It comes as the World Health Organization predicts the obese population will double by 2015 to 700m.

In the UK, nearly a quarter of adults are classed obese, twice as many as there were in the 1980s.

The team found that obese people require 1,680 daily calories to sustain normal energy and another 1,280 to maintain daily activities - a fifth more than normal.

The higher consumption of food has a two-fold effect, researchers said.

First of all the increasing demand for food, drives up production.

This means that agricultural processes are using more oil to meet demand, which contributes to the rising cost of fuel.

The cost of fuel is then passed on in the cost of food, making it more difficult for poorer areas to afford it.


What is more, the researchers said obese people are likely to rely on transport more and put more strain on that transport because of their mass, which again drives up prices and usage.

I suspect the authors of this report will soon find their mail bags bulging.

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