Sunday, October 14, 2007

Obesity, climate change and alcohol

So Alan Johnson reckons that obesity is as big a threat as climate change. True, it will have a massive impact on the health of people in this country, meaning that children could die before their parents, with the first time that life expectancy has fallen in the last 200 years. But is it a bigger threat than climate change?

The straight forward answer is of course not, but the solutions to both have a lot in common. Localisation of food, eating fresh, in-season produce, reducing meat consumption, using the car less, cycling and walking more will reduce our impact on the environment as well as the impact on ourselves and our families. The thing to do is consume less!

Obesity may hit the UK more quickly than climate change, but its effects are confined to the West and are moderately easy to reverse. Climate change threatens the lives of billions and will be almost impossible to reverse in any real sense

While I am on the subject of consuming less, the Guardian has reported a massive rise in alcohol abuse over the past 5 years.

"The figures reveal the number of people who have had to be admitted as emergency cases to hospital as a direct result of their own or someone else's drinking."

"The number of men admitted nationwide has risen from 714 per 100,000 in 2001-02 to 909 per 100,000 in 2005-06, a rise of 27.3 per cent, while, over the same period, the number of women has gone up from 396 per 100,000 to 510 per 100,000, a jump of 28.9 per cent."

In a society which is beholden to consumption, the problems of excess seem to be becoming very obvious.

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