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April 22, 2021

'Fatties cause global warming,' U.K. report says

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

And you thought United Airlines was insensitive.

A new report out of London suggests the rising number of the world’s obese is, at least in part, to blame for global warming.

You can check out the original article on the U.K.’s Sun website – fittingly titled “Fatties cause global warming” – but all you’ll find is pictures of overweight people shot from behind or the neck down, so I’ll give you scoop here instead.

According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, obese people cause more food production than the average human which, by their interpretation, means a major increase of CO2 gas emissions that heat up the planet.

Those who are overweight are also more likely to drive, adding even more to our ever-growing carbon footprint, the report says.

“Moving about in a heavy body is like driving in a gas guzzler,” Dr. Phil Edwards tells the newspaper.

Each “fat person,” as the Sun calls them, is responsible for emitting a tonne more climate-warming carbon dioxide per year than someone of average build.

Based on the World Health Organization’s estimates of overweight people on earth, that would translate to an extra billion tonnes of CO2 being created annually thanks to those deemed overweight.

This hasn’t particularly been a good stretch for the obese; the cyclone of recent bad press starting when the aforementioned United Airlines began making them buy two airplane seats last week if they couldn’t fit into one.

Yet here’s one report probably everyone could do without. Sure, there’s probably some merit to the arguments, and yes, at least one story says fast food sales are actually up since the recession began (suggesting we’re all not eating that healthy.) But come on …

It’s not surprising to see the comments on the Sun’s story featuring phrases like “absolute stupidity” and “completely ridiculous,” and we hope that’s the attitude most of us keep on this one.

People fighting their weight have enough to deal with. I’d wager they don’t need the collapse of the world’s climate on their plate, too.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...