Monday, April 20, 2009

Now, obesity is bad for the environment?

Silhouettes representing healthy, overweight, ...Image via Wikipedia

A report posted today on CNN established that researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study showing that heavier people in the world contributes more to the global warming than thin people (supposedly because transporting heavier people and producing food to feed them costs more).

According to the study
...the lean population has a much smaller carbon footprint. The population with 40 percent obese people requires 19 percent more food energy for its total energy expenditure than the population with 3.5 percent obese people

I'm not against people being healthy and thin, in fact I think it's better to be healthy and if this makes you thiner, it's great, but I found that this kind of reports may put pressure in people who is overweight or obese, and in people who feels that being thin is the only way to be accepted.
My daughter, who is in her right weight and height, is starting to be worried about not being fat, and she's only 5 years old! And if studies like this begin to be more and more prevalent, how can I explain her that being healthy is good, but it's not healthy to exaggerate and feel bad just because people say the only acceptable choice is being thin?
Maybe we should re educate ourselves to do more exercise and be healthy, and also government should be more coherent with their public policies like providing cheaper and healthier food for everyone and greener alternatives to transport.
In Mexico, for example, a government office gives milk to the poor that has high contain of fat and little nutritional value, also, the streets aren't safe for people wanting to use their bicycles to go from one way to another, distances are impossible to do in this kind of vehicle and public transportation doesn't have space for carrying them.
But I think the effort to do our world better can't be reduced to one factor, it has to be a comprehensive effort.

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Aleks said...

You are right. There is a lot of excessive and unnecessary pressure on this issue which could be counterproductive at the end.

kary.journalist said...

Yes, I think obesity is like the global warming of health: so many times it has been repeated that obesity it's bad that some people is taking this issue and its solutions very lightly or on the contrary, there are extreme reactions to this (like people who are bulimic or anorexic trying to fight 'obesity').