Obesity experts overwhelmingly condemned a letter in the medical journal the Lancet Thursday that suggested growing rates of obesity pose a threat to the environment.
The letter, submitted by researchers from the United Kingdom, implicates the rising tide of obesity in greater oil consumption, more food production -- and, ultimately, in an increase in the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
"It is a significant contribution," said Phil Edwards, co-author of the letter and senior statistician at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
"Eighteen percent more food energy is required in many populations where there is a large prevalence of obesity," he said, citing a 460-calorie increase in daily food intake for an obese individual. "There is a clear impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in order to grow that food."