Eat For Victory

Regular readers will know that I’m deeply worried about global warming, and that I lie awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering how to stop it. An article I read a couple of days back may have provided the much-needed clue, although not in quite the way they were suggesting.

Researchers Suggest Link Between Obesity & Global Warming

Researchers at the Robert Gordon University have completed a study that addresses the link between climate change and obesity.

The academics suggest that global weight loss would result in a drop in the production of the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO(2)).

It suggests that if every obese and overweight person in the world lost 10 kilograms (or 1.58 stone), the resulting drop in greenhouse emissions would be the equivalent of 0.2% of the CO(2) emitted globally in 2007 (49.560Mt)…

Dr Catherine Rolland was one of the lead researchers on the study. She explains: “This decrease can be explained by the principles of respiration – the process by which organisms breathe in oxygen, which is then converted to CO(2) and then exhaled.

“CO(2) production is proportionate to body mass and heavier individuals naturally produce more than those of a healthier weight. The global obesity epidemic, therefore, has resulted in humans producing a higher volume of a major greenhouse gas.”

This set me thinking. The fat guys would have to work out in gyms to shed those 10 kg of fat. I wondered what the difference in metabolic rate was between someone of ordinary weight, and a fat guy 10 kg heavier.

I found an online Basal Metabolic Rate calculator and asked what the BMR of a 170 pound, 5′ 10″ high, 30-year-old male would be, and was told it 1810 kcalories/day (about 87 watts). Actual metabolic rate is higher than basal metabolic rate, and BMR needs to be multiplied by 1.2 for a lifestyle with little or no exercise, and by 1.9 for a lifestyle with a couple of intensive work-outs every day. Opting for the life with little exercise, that gave a metabolic rate of 104 watts.

I then asked what the BMR of the same guy, but 22 pounds heavier, would be, and was told it was 1947 kcals/day (93 watts). Multiplying that by 1.2 for little or no exercise gave a figure of 112 watts.

So the fat guy was burning about 8 watts more than the regular guy, all of it appearing as extra CO2. And adding all the fat guys in the world together, that translated into nearly into nearly 50 million mega-tonnes of CO2, according to the university boffins.

So, sure, it looks like there’s quite a saving to be made.

I then wondered what the ‘carbon footprint’ of a regular healthy-sized guy would be if he worked out twice a day in a gym like super-fit healthy guys do. Well, we know that the BMR of the regular guy is 87 watts, and we know that this needs to be multiplied by 1.9 to give his actual metabolic rate. And that’s 165 watts. Which is 61 watts more than if he’d done little or no exercise.

And since we know that that 8 extra watts from all the fat guys in the world translates into 50 Mt of CO2, then 61 extra watts translates into a stunning 380 Mt of CO2.

So all this working out, jogging, cycling, and so on vastly increases CO2 output. If we really want to save the planet, we ought to close all the gyms, ban jogging and cycling, forbid school sports, and also ban all energetic professional sports.  Oh, and cancel the London Olympics next year. The only sports permitted should be things like golf, snooker, and darts. It’s not the fat guys who are filling the atmosphere with clouds of CO2: it’s the healthy energetic ones, running around all the time.

But it goes deeper.

Body fat is a store of energy, and consists of chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. So fat people store (the fancy word is ‘sequester’) carbon just like trees do.  I began to wonder how many mega-tonnes of CO2 was stored by fat people.

Well, we know that the fat guys have 22 pounds (10 kg) of fat on them, and we discover that the calorific value of fat is 37.8 kJ/gm. This the amount of energy that would be released by full combustion of the fat, producing lots of CO2 in the process. And 10 kg of fat translates into 378 million Joules of stored energy.

And we already know that all the fat guys in the world, burning energy at an extra 8 watts ( i.e. 8 Joules/sec), produce 50 mega-tonnes of CO2 per year. And burning through 8 watts all day every day for a whole year works out at a bit over 250 million Joules per year. So the fat guys carrying 10 kg of fat, and burning an extra 8 watts while doing so, are carrying as fat 75 Mt of CO2, or 1.5 times their extra annual CO2 emissions.

What happens when all the fat guys go to gyms and start working out, and lose their extra 10 kg of fat in one year?  Well, we know that the fat guy’s BMR was 93 watts. So when he starts working out his metabolic rate  is 1.9 times this, or 177 watts. Which is 73 watts more than a regular guy doing no exercise. When fat guys start vigorously working out, they use over 9 times as much extra energy than they did when they just slobbed around doing nothing. And instead of producing just 50 Mt of CO2 per year, they produce 450 Mt. And on top of this there an extra 75 Mt which is all the fat they’ve burned off during the year. Total of 525 Mt of CO2.

That’s pretty much a climate catastrophe. It can’t be allowed to happen.

No, the right thing to do is not to get all the fat guys to slim down, but get them to get even fatter. Fat people should be treated exactly the same way as trees. They should be encouraged to grow as big as possible, and to do as little exercise as possible, because fat people are carbon sinks rather than carbon sources.  And every year that one of them gains 10 kg in weight, they store 1.5 times as much CO2 as the extra CO2 they emit. In fact more, because metabolic rate isn’t proportional to mass, but to the three-quarter power of mass (Kleiber’s law).

And not only should we be encouraging fat people to get even fatter, but we should be encouraging everyone else to do so as well.

We should convert all the gyms into leisure centres where fat people lie on recliner chairs watching TV all day, and drinking beer and eating huge amounts of burgers and chips and peas and tomato ketchup, and pancakes and syrup, and doughnuts and chocolate chip cookies. And we should fit out all the pubs and restaurants the same way. It should be a non-stop all-day marathon bloatfest.

Of course, we’ll need to denormalise thin, athletic people. And all forms of exercise. We’ll need to run Fat Is Beautiful campaigns, and put forward new standards of physical beauty (see right). And run Eat For Victory ads on TV: “Have you eaten your five portions of chocolate sponge pudding today?” And fill the shops with cream cakes and comfy sofas and TVs. And have Exercise Cessation Counsellors, to wean people off the forms of exercise they’re addicted to.

It will of course help to encourage smoking, in order to keep people calm and relaxed, and thereby expending the minimum of energy.

And this way, maybe, just maybe, after eating heroic amounts of food, and breaking all the obesity records, we will be able to slow the remorseless rise of CO2 in the atmosphere,  and finally reverse it, and save the world.

About Frank Davis

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13 Responses to Eat For Victory

  1. Lysistrata says:

    Genius. Pure genius.

  2. Gary K. says:

    This piece goes to prove that science and math can,indeed, be a great deal of very interesting fun!!!!

    Thank you for being curious.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I hope my reasoning was fairly clear. I had to work around a few things. For example the study didn’t say how many fat people there were in the world (or how they’d measured it). Neither did they say at what rate stored fat converts into CO2.

      I think that some time I’ll try and redo the calculations using some more fundamental data.

  3. smokervoter says:

    I happen to think that an obvious coalition exists between the obese pariahs and we smokers. It is in fact the key to defeating the health nazi’s. I look at my well-fed sisters and brothers as fellow resistance soldiers.

    As a boxing aficionado and skilled pugilist in my youth, I regularly stood up for the fat kids against the gutless schoolyard bullies who constantly gave them a hard time. You didn’t pick on chubby kids around me unless you wanted to go home looking like you’d been through a meat grinder.

  4. Frank Davis says:

    I happen to think that an obvious coalition exists between the obese pariahs and we smokers.

    I agree. And I’d also include drinkers. I think of it as the SDF: the Smokers, Drinkers, and Fat people’s party.

    Being very thin, I don’t really know what fat people are going through these days. But I suspect that it could well be worse than what we smokers are enduring. After all, when we’re not smoking, it’s difficult to identify us as smokers. Same with drinkers. But fat people stay fat the whole time.

    • smokervoter says:

      After all, when we’re not smoking, it’s difficult to identify us as smokers. Same with drinkers. But fat people stay fat the whole time.

      That’s a shrewd observation that had never occurred to me before.

      I’m inclined to think it is even worse than it’s ever been for our rotund friends and neighbors.

      There is a radio commercial currently going around that simply fries my brain circuits. In it, a formerly overweight girl half-sobs, half-gushes her way through a dialogue which basically goes “I used to be a miserable fat girl who everyone hated until I discovered O-Band (a stomach band) and now I’m so happy to be just like all of the superior people of the world. And I’m never going back to the inferior, fat old Me.” [Cue Joyous Sigh and smarmy violins].

      By the way, I’m medium thin myself, but it’s all about my hereditary high metabolism. I simply love to eat supersized bags of Cheetos. I think they’re called Wotsits in the UK.

  5. harleyrider1778 says:

    Frank,I really prefer my fat porn stars to smoke,perhaps you could photoshop in a ciggy to her hand or mouth. Now as far as the global warming and fat study,did they measure flatulence/methane releases,their are obese folks who love a good plate of pinto beans and hamhocks! Now we know for a fact these globalist greens measured cow farts and it only follows this should have been done on the obese also! If the EU is to pass global warming taxes on the obese and require specially modified feeds or the obese to slow down methane gas releases into the environment then surely it must be taken into account. However I fear the EU maybe a past memory before such regulations can be passed!

    BTW the above is in jest,I have fought for the rights of the obese at every turn since it crossed paths with the smokefree health nazis mission the below is the primary reason I fight to protect the obese and their rights as fellow human beings:


    Mississippi Legislature
    2008 Regular Session
    House Bill 282
    House Calendar | Senate Calendar | Main Menu
    Additional Information | All Versions

    Current Bill Text: |

    Description: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.

    Background Information:
    Disposition: Active
    Deadline: General Bill/Constitutional Amendment
    Revenue: No
    Vote type required: Majority
    Effective date: July 1, 2008

    History of Actions:
    1 01/25 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Judiciary B

    —– Additional Information —–

    House Committee: Public Health and Human Services*, Judiciary B

    Principal Author: Mayhall
    Additional Authors: Read, Shows


    —– Bill Text for All Versions —-
    | As Introduced (Current)

    Information pertaining to this measure was last updated on 01/29/2008 at 11:24
    End Of Document

  6. Rose says:


    Whitehall turf war saves cows’ hides

    “Let me tell you the story of a classic Whitehall farce, a tale of how the government came within a whisker of advocating bovine genocide.

    It all began when officials at the Department of Health decided to part-fund a piece of independent research looking at how health professionals could help combat the effects of climate change.
    The scientists came up with a rather courageous idea. Why not kill 30% of Britain’s cows and sheep?
    Not only would this help save the environment; it would also make us healthier.

    The theory goes like this: if you have less ruminant livestock, you emit less climate-damaging methane into the atmosphere.
    You also have less meat to eat, which means less saturated fat in our diets and thus less heart disease.

    Policy on the hoof?

    Officials liked the wheeze so much they decided Health Secretary Andy Burnham should give a speech at the launch of the report by the Lancet medical journal.
    There Mr Burnham congratulated the Lancet on its “timely report”.

    The Department of Health put out a handy press release summarising
    the report’s conclusions.
    It even rang up the Department of Energy and Climate Change and got it involved.
    A useful quote from Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband was included on the press release.

    Not to be outdone, a quote from international development minister Mike Foster was produced. All agreed that health and climate change could be two sides of the same coin.
    There was only one problem: no one had bothered to tell the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and, as its name suggests, it is in charge of cows.

    Defra officials gently pointed out that perhaps the “kill-a-cow, save-the-world” policy might have a few flaws.”

    The cows were saved, so I’d say that the Co2 angle is purely to crank up the pressure.

    “And have Exercise Cessation Counsellors, to wean people off the forms of exercise they’re addicted to.”

    Can I volunteer?

    As I sit in the back garden relaxing with a well earned cigarette and a cup of coffee, admiring the flowers and listening to the song of the birds, my peace is intermittently shattered by joggers pounding by on the footpath beyond the hedge.
    You can see it’s doing them harm from their contorted, sweating faces.

    Naturally I am growing the hedge a little taller,so that I don’t have to watch their self-inflicted suffering, but it does take time.

    Everything was fine when I moved here, the little overgrown path was of beaten earth, impassible in wet weather and if you tried running on it you were likely to at least twist an ankle on the stones.

    However the little path which long ago was the branch line to the village at the top of the hill, has been designated a nature walk and surfaced.

    I am quite happy with the primary school nature walks, but now I get running clubs complete with marshalls stationed at the bottom of my garden and even the occasional race.

    Recently I have developed a strong aversion to Lycra in garish colours and would be more than happy to help dissuade them from unnecessary exercise, especially near my house.

    Like any responsible person, exercise is something that just happens to me when I am doing something more worthwhile.

  7. nisakiman says:

    Christ on a bike, that is really scary, harleyrider. Are the purveyors of food and/or their staff in these outlets qualified to differentiate between “slightly overweight” and “obese”, criteria notwithstanding? Or will those diagnosed as “clinically obese” be required by law to wear a yellow star or somesuch on their sleeves for easy identification?

    We are truly on a very slippery slope…

  8. LOL! Love the way your brain works Frank! :>

    I can’t find it at the moment, but back when Al Gore made his comment about smokers and Global Warming at the UN I did some napkin figuring on it. I think the figure I came up with was somewhere on the order 1/100th of the figure the article used for obesity and Global Warming — i.e. 2 thousandths of a single percentage point — or less.

    – MJM

  9. Nisakiman.. “Christ on a bike” ? Hey, sounds like the kind of church I might like to join! The crucifix would be replaced by an image of Christ impaled on the hood ornament of a Detroit Death Machine!


  10. Pingback: The Dawn of the Cosmic Ray Era? | Frank Davis

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