I think it’s arguable that high obesity rates do some environmental damage, but eating more is what causes the biggest problems.
A researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University found out that “Americans now pump 938 million gallons of fuel more on a yearly basis than they were in 1960 because of their increasing weight.” So yes, being heavier means it takes more energy to move a person.
Arguably more important than obesity is the cause; over-eating. Eating more than your body needs wastes resources in a undernourished world and causes exaggerates many environmental problems.
I think we can draw a link between the natural environment people live in and its leading to higher obesity rates. Specifically, the environment of contemporary life is focused on automatic transportation (cars and streets), lack of natural recreational areas, and lack of widely available fresh produce. Our cities have more convenience stores than farms, so people lack access to healthy food choices. Cities are not designed to be particularly pedestrian friendly, so people prefer to take cars. These environmental situations encourage obesity.
Our environement and technology has allowed us to engineer many easier ways of doing things that in the past required physical work to do. Everything from hunting or gathering food, cleaning, walking to wherever you needed to be – is now done for us or has a device to help us not move much to get it done. On top of that, a number of entertainment devices encourage people to simply sit rather than move around for enjoyment. None of this is science or technology’s fault – we must learn to live responsibly by eating less, exercising more and enjoy the fruits of technology and not abuse them. It is difficult because genetically we are predisposed to like fatty, salty or sweet foods, we want to sit down for a while and relax, but it has become a good thing gone to far and we need to get up, eat what we need to stay fueled up, go out and get our work done, enjoy or lives and have fun!
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