High rates of obesity in richer countries cause up to 1bn extra tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, compared with countries with leaner populations, according to a study that assesses the additional food and fuel requirements of the overweight.Now I am quite happy with the argument that increasing consumption in the developed world contributes to global warming, but why is it assumed that us stout people are the only ones doing the consuming. We are the ones who tend to put the weight on, that's all. Skinny people who stuff themselves without piling on the flab are apparently immune from blame. And what about all those super fit exercise freaks who have to fuel themselves to maintain an abnormal exercise regime?
The point about focusing on obesity rather than patterns of consumption is that it places the blame for climate change on the sinful behaviour of fat people not on global inequities. Now take this gem:
They also factored in greater car use by the overweight. "The heavier our bodies become the harder it is to move about in them and the more dependent we become on cars," they wrote.Sorry, it may surprise you that not only can I walk, I actually enjoy walking. It is more accurate to say that the older we get the less mobile we are and therefore are more dependent on motor transport. Have you seen any headlines saying that older people cause global warming? Soylent Green anyone?
No, instead we get the same smug message,
"Population fatness has an environmental impact," said Phil Edwards, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "We're all being told to stay fit and keep our weight down because it's good for our health. The important thing is that staying slim is good for your health and for the health of the planet."The interrelationship between global inequality and global warming is important and complex, I refuse to accept that my waistline is to blame.