02 Sep '11, 12pm

Is America's Obesity Epidemic Also Killing the Planet?

Is America's Obesity Epidemic Also Killing the Planet?

Could the obesity epidemic -- and a general weight gain in the U.S. population -- be adding substantially to our energy-use requirements and our "carbon footprint," resulting in stress on the planet? Think about glass versus plastic containers for any type of product, such as peanut butter, brewed tea or mayonnaise. Glass, on average, takes 40 percent more fuel to transport because of the difference in weight. The weight of material used in packaging or containers therefore largely determines how energy-intensive it is. This got me thinking about the United 757 flight I am currently on (as I type this) with, let's say, its full capacity of 158 passengers. If the average flier's weight is 185 pounds, then if we collectively lose just 10 percent of that weight, we would reduce the load on the plane by 3,000 pounds and the aircraft's weight by 1.4 percent, and the energy need...

Full article: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/09/02/is-americas-obesi...

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