Climate change linked to weight gain.No Comments
Weight gain and climate change are linked and climate changes are now having a massive impact on so many things including weight gain. Read this fascinating article and if you would like more help on how to choose the right foods for you, to help stop and reverse weight gain get in touch.
You have no doubt recognised that increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have impacts on our planet and weather systems, but have you considered the effect it has on our foods? You see the ultimate source of all the carbohydrates we consume is CO2, and the levels of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere are at 440ppm, the highest level since the dawn of agriculture, quite possibly the highest since we as humans have lived on earth. (Gulp No 1)
But what impact does this have on the foods we consume and grow, their macro nutrient and micronutrient content and why should we be concerned – after all this is a global problem and your life is spent working with individuals? Will the effects of the unstoppable CO2 increase for example impact cultivated plants, as well as wild plants, does it change the carbohydrates to protein, minerals, vitamins ratios and does this actually impact human nutrition and health and why should you care?
In simple terms…..if plants are adding carbohydrates to their physiology, it will not occur in isolation, you see the stoichiometry – the relative ratios of chemical elements – in plants is like all living things, a plastic experience and a direct reflection of their environment. Plant quality involves numerous nutritional components including carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as the micronutrients, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and their associated secondary metabolites or phytochemicals.
Within this mix there are many overlapping variables that have significant impacts on their end consumer, most of which are invisible, buried as they are within the matrix of the originating materials and often lost in the associated noise generated by focus on yield. You see size, volume and weight have been lauded as global benefits because of CO2 expansion, and as a consequence of fertilisation of soils and improved farming methods. Yet like many other ‘super-sized’ items that are ingested they come with risk. You see increased caloric intake in no way guarantees increased nutrient intake, and disturbingly it appears even more metabolically related deficiencies in the face of plenty are compounding people’s ability to eat healthily and yet still suffer the consequences of poor nutrition.
A substantive evaluation of the imact of CO2 on the plant’s mineral status (none of which you can generate without ingestion) appears to be pervasive throughout all latitudes; namely that of the 25 minerals measured over many years, in wild, horticultural and arable crops all except nitrogen show a global decine of approximately 8% and also impact the stoichiometry of the plant, meaning that when you (and all animals) consume plants as part of your diet, you are getting less nutrition (minerals) today than you were over the last 25 years of measurement. Plus there are associated and extensive adverse shifts in carbohydrate to protein ratios. New evidence is consistently challenging “the notion that a calorie is a calorie from a metabolic perspective” by showing that changes in dietary carbohydrate: protein: fat ratios affect metabolism and weight gain in humans.
Further evidence supports an emerging view that while obesity is classically quantified as an imbalance between energy inputs and expenditures, it could also be a form of malnutrition where increased carbohydrate:protein ratios and excessive carbohydrate consumption could be possible culprits. For example one study has confirmed an increase in starch concentrations in wheat grains by 7-8% which means an extra 4gm of sugars per 100gms of starch. Note that such an infusion of carbohydrates into plant tissues, all else being equal, dilutes the content of other nutrients by 1–7.4%. Clearly, adding a spoonful of sugar sporadically to one’s diet is not a cause for concern. However, the inescapable pervasiveness of globally rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations raises new questions: What are the health consequences, if any, of diluting every 100 g of raw plant products with a spoonful of starch-and-sugar mixture? (Gulp 2)
‘Hidden hunger’—stems from poorly diversified plant-based diets meeting caloric but not nutritional needs. It is currently the world’s most widespread nutritional disorder. Ironically, a person can be obese and mineral undernourished—the so called ‘hunger-obesity paradox’. With every third adult in the world being overweight or obese, WHO ranks both mineral undernutrition and obesity among the top 20 global health risks. Consider; for a calorie deficient person, eating 5% more is likely to be beneficial. However, for a calorie sufficient but mineral deficient person, eating 5% more could be detrimental. (Gulp 3)
The results support the notion that a 4–5% difference in total daily energy intake, a mere 100 kcal/day, could be responsible for most weight gain in the population.
Interested in Planetary Health? Visit Agenda 2020 and The Lancets: Safeguarding Human Health
Yours in health
Mike and Antony
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