The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The weight of the world: the skinny on global warming

Now not only do obese or overweight people have to worry about being shunned because they are different. They also have to worry about taking the blame for destroying the environment. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are blaming the world’s most pertinent environmental crisis, global warming, on the obese.The published study says that people who are lean and fit have a smaller carbon footprint than those who are larger. Obese people also consume more, the scientists say, and also use more fuel with their transportation.

“The main message is staying thin. It’s good for you, and it’s good for the planet,” Phil Edwards, the senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said to CNN.

The study reports that obese people have increased overall food consumption by 19 percent. Plus, this rise in food consumption averages to an overall increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. But is obesity really causing the downfall of our earth, especially since methods of measuring obesity are far outdated?

The Body Mass Index (BMI), invented in 1972 by Ancel Keys, measures obesity. BMI is found by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by their height.

Keys did his experiment on 7,400 men from five different countries. He ignored age and gender. When he wrote his paper on BMI, Keys warned the public not to use it on individuals.

Today, if you are overweight according to the BMI, you can be accused of harming the environment. Something is definitely wrong with this system.

Outdated processes aside, obesity is not always something that a person can just run off. There is no magic wand or quick fix for obesity because not everyone is obese due to poor dietary choices. A lot of people are obese due to their genetic makeup, so cut them some slack.

TJ Clark, from the National Institutes of Health, reported that in a study of adopted children, the children were closer to the weights of their biological parents than to their adoptive parents.

The environment where the children grew up had less of an affect than their genetic makeup did. People who are obese due to genetic mutations are now having the blame pinned on them for something they cannot control.

Paul Raeburn, author of “Can Fat Be Fit?” found that the slightly overweight tended to live longer than those of average weight. None of the evidence has been disproved.

So America, how about we get off the backs of those people who are a little different, and instead try to find alternative energy sources, a cure for diabetes, and ways to eliminate greenhouse gases?

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