Eating unhealthily can damage your carbon footprint. In fact, without being too indelicate, people who eat excessively could currently be generating an extra 60 mega-tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
This rather startling figure emerged from a recent study of eating and weight patterns by the International Journal of Epidemiology, whose main message was, unsurprisingly, that “Staying slim is good for health and for the environment”.
Equally unsurprising is their finding that UK citizens are, in general, considerably larger than they were three decades ago in the 70s. Even between 1994 and 2004, the average male BMI in England rose from 26-27.3 and the average female BMI from 25.8-26.9.
This increase in the average BMI and weight of the British population is due to a potentially lethal combination of inactivity, increasingly sedentary working environments (less manual work thanks to mechanisation) and a boom in inactive leisure-time “activities”, such as those involving X-boxes and other similar devices.
The only exception here would appear to be the Wii, which at least encourages players to prise their posteriors off their chairs and move around occasionally! However, playing tennis in real life, out in the fresh air, would of course be eminently preferable.
Lifestyle changes are obviously required if we’re to avoid turning into a nation of Mr and Ms Blobbies by the time another three decades have passed. It is also essential if we are to reduce the potential impact that pursuing such a self-indulgent way of life can have on our environment.
One encouraging flicker of (energy-efficient) light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel is that some people are beginning to wake up and smell the (de-caff, organic, Fair Trade) coffee when it comes to making lifestyle changes. The upsurge in demand for spa breaks is a clear indication that the worm – or “slug” – of apathy is slowing turning.
Up until relatively recently, spa hotels and day spas were considered the domain of the rich and famous, but over the past decade things have most certainly changed. Today a steady stream of visitors from a wide range of backgrounds and financial circumstances regularly book into a spa for a day, a weekend or longer.
These spa converts will undoubtedly reap the benefits of their spa experience, as even a short break can often inspire you to make changes in your lifestyle. Exercising more, looking after your skin and physique better, and eating more sensibly are all key to good health.
And if we 21st century slugs are ever to have a hope of returning to the healthier BMI of the 1970s, the sooner we start ringing these changes the better!