Chapter 11

Obesity and Climate Change:An Odd Couple?

Evidence for an unexpected relationship

Obesity and climate change are both crucial issues of global concern. At first glance it may seem odd to link them together and to suggest that obesity is contributing to climate change. Can what we choose to eat really have an impact on global warming? Around 33 per cent of the world's adult population (1.3 billion people) is now obese or overweight (Kelly et al, 2008). In addition, carbon emissions are high and have increased from 250ppm (50 years ago) to 380ppm in 2007 (Egger, 2008). Some have suggested that it is no coincidence that countries with higher obesity rates tend to have higher carbon emissions, such as the US. Recent contributions to mainstream ...

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