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Climate Change and Obesity
Horm Metab Res. 2021 Sep;53(9) :575-587
PMID: 34496408 PMCID: PMC8440046
AbstractGlobal 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 lockdowns. 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%.
Notes1439-4286 Koch, Christian A Sharda, Pankaj Patel, Jay Gubbi, Sriram Orcid: 0000-0002-9263-1381 Bansal, Rashika Bartel, Michael J Historical Article Journal Article Review Horm Metab Res. 2021 Sep;53(9):575-587. doi: 10.1055/a-1533-2861. Epub 2021 Sep 8.