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Global warming: is weight loss a solution?


The current climate change has been most likely caused by the increased greenhouse gas emissions. We have looked at the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), and estimated the reduction in the CO2 emissions that would occur with the theoretical global weight loss. The calculations were based on our previous weight loss study, investigating the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on body weight, body composition and resting metabolic rate of obese volunteers with type 2 diabetes. At 6 months, we observed decreases in weight, fat mass, fat free mass and CO2 production. We estimated that a 10 kg weight loss of all obese and overweight people would result in a decrease of 49.560 Mt of CO2 per year, which would equal to 0.2% of the CO2 emitted globally in 2007. This reduction could help meet the CO2 emission reduction targets and unquestionably would be of a great benefit to the global health.

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We thank A Stewart for reading of the manuscript and critical comments. The study of low-carbohydrate diet was supported by the Go Lower Company.

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Correspondence to C Rolland.

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Gryka, A., Broom, J. & Rolland, C. Global warming: is weight loss a solution?. Int J Obes 36, 474–476 (2012).

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