What is the relationship between the climate crisis and obesity?



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What is the relationship between the climate crisis and obesity?

The World Health Organization predicts that overweight and obesity could soon replace more traditional public health problems such as malnutrition and infectious diseases. The efforts of public health bodies tend to combat the problem by trying to study and correct the environmental factors responsible for the growth of the phenomenon: in many countries, for example, attempts have been made to encourage the use of school canteens and to promote physical activity, creating public parks, pedestrian paths and cycle paths.

Between 1998 and 2006, the United States and Canada published federal guidelines for preventing and combating obesity in adults and children. In 2004 the Royal College of Physicians, the Faculty of Public Health and the UK's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health presented a report highlighting the growing obesity problem in the country.

In the same year, a committee of the House of Commons published a more comprehensive survey on the impact of obesity on society and its treatment. A recent study, coordinated by Christian A Koch, Pankaj Sharda, Jay Patel, Sriram Gubbi, Rashika Bansa and Michael J Bartel, published on the Hormone and metabolic research, explained: "Global warming and the rising prevalence of obesity are well described challenges of current mankind.

Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic arose as a new challenge. We here attempt to delineate their relationship with each other from our perspective. Global greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have exponentially increased since 1950.

The main contributors to such greenhouse gas emissions are manufacturing and construction, transport, residential, commercial, agriculture, and land use change and forestry, combined with an increasing global population growth from 1 billion in 1800 to 7.8 billion in 2020 along with rising obesity rates since the 1980s.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has caused some decline in greenhouse gas emissions by limiting mobility globally via repetitive lockdo wns. Following multiple lockdowns, there was further increase in obesity in wealthier populations, malnutrition from hunger in poor populations and death from severe infection with Covid-19 and its virus variants.

There is a bidirectional relationship between adiposity and global warming. With rising atmospheric air temperatures, people typically will have less adaptive thermogenesis and become less physically active, while they are producing a higher carbon footprint.

To reduce obesity rates, one should be willing to learn more about the environmental impact, how to minimize consumption of energy generating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, and to reduce food waste. Diets lower in meat such as a Mediterranean diet, have been estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 72%, land use by 58%, and energy consumption by 52%."