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Next on the climate change agenda: An obesity tax?

buffetThe fatter a nation’s people, the higher the country’s carbon footprint, according to researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

As profiled in today’s Guardian, a study by Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts finds that rising obesity contributes up to one billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere each year. They attributed the effect to two key factors: obese people simply eat more (19 per cent more, according to the study) and heavier people also tend to drive more.

Those two factors combined help generate between 0.4 billion and one billion tonnes of carbon emissions per year, the researchers say. That makes up a meaningful portion of the planet’s total overall emissions, estimated at 27 billion tonnes in 2004.

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