In a recent interview with the Guardian, James Lovelock, father of the Gaia theory, stated that the green movement is now acting as a religion: ‘It’s got all the sort of terms that religions use. The greens use guilt. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting CO2 in the air.’ Well, now it seems that there is yet another reason for guilt: obesity. According to a new study published in BMC Public Health, obesity will be a big problem in the future when it comes to environmental sustainability.
A team of international researchers have analyzed data from the UN and the WHO to conclude that humanity is 17 million tons overweight. Only North America, the authors say, comprises a third of the obese people in the world.
‘Although the largest increase in population numbers is expected in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,’ the authors write, ‘our results suggest that population increases in the USA will carry more weight than would be implied by numbers alone.’
‘We often point the finger at poor women in Africa having too many babies,’ says co-author Ian Roberts, researcher at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. ‘But we’ve also got to think of this fatness thing; it’s part of the same issue of exceeding our planetary limits.’
Sarah C Walpole, David Prieto-Merino, Phil Edwards, John Cleland, Gretchen Stevens, & Ian Roberts (2012). The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass BMC Public Health DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-439