New Theory: CO2 Makes You Fat

Danish researchers have announced a rather wild hypothesis: Perhaps we are getting fatter and fatter because of the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

By Thomas Hoffman

No, this is not 1 April – and this is not an April Fool’s hoax.

Mad as it may sound, Danish researchers have announced a theory that may not only explain why people all over the world are getting fatter and fatter, but also warn of the serious consequences for life on Earth of continued pollution of the atmosphere by CO2 emissions.

In itself, the theory is quite simple: CO2 contributes to making us fat.

“There’s something in the air”

The theory arose several years ago, when Lars-Georg Hersoug studied the development of obesity among people who had been followed over a number of years in the so-called MONICA studies (Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardio-vascular Disease) in Denmark. These studies have mapped the lifestyles of thousands of Danes.

Hersoug was surprised to see that both fat and thin people taking part in the studies over a 22-year period had put on weight – and the increase was proportionately the same.

Orexins – which are neuropeptide hormones – in the brain stimulate wakefulness and energy expenditure. These hormones may be affected by CO2, and this can cause us to go to bed later, affecting our metabolism so it is easier for us to put on weight. But orexins are also involved in the stimulation of food intake.

Read the rest at Science Nordic.

108 Responses to New Theory: CO2 Makes You Fat

  1. Rob N. Hood March 23, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    Wow- even conciliatory and friendly bone-throwing doesn’t dent that hard right exterior of yours. Like you, IDC, be that way, you never change and never will. (Now you have me sounding like Joe- woe is me!) Seig Heil!

  2. Rob N. Hood March 23, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Then comes a stranger (!) and you jump at the chance to agree with him…”either way”! YOU NEVER LOVED ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate you.

    • NEILIO March 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      It’s true, we were never compatable. Doomed from the outset.

  3. Rob N. Hood March 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Finally- a sense of humor and humanity.

  4. NEILIO March 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/23/warm_period_little_ice_age_global/
    “More peer-reviewed science contradicting the warming-alarmist “scientific consensus” was announced yesterday, as a new study shows that the well-documented warm period which took place in medieval times was not limited to Europe, or the northern hemisphere: it reached all the way to Antarctica.”

  5. NEILIO March 25, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Goodness gracious. I am surprised that my closed-minded black and white thinking has actually come to the same kind of conclusions that Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine has, all on my own without any semblance of logic or reasoning…. Amazing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/15/rising-co2-levels-make-fat-controversial-study-suggests/
    “The Dutch researchers, from the University of Copenhagen, conducted a small study to test their idea. Six men went into special chambers in which the CO2 levels could be controlled. They were randomly assigned to be exposed to ambient air or to air with high CO2 levels. After seven and a half hours, the participants were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted.

    The researchers found that men who were exposed to the high CO2 levels ate 6 percent more calories than the men who were exposed to ambient air.

    But Katz said the fact that the men in the experiment ate more when exposed to high CO2 levels is not necessarily surprising. When people are exposed to high CO2 levels, they increase their breathing rate to get rid of the excess CO2.

    “If you are breathing faster to eliminate CO2, you’re doing more physical work,” he said. The men in the study exposed to high CO2 levels might be expected to eat more to make up for their extra exertion, Katz said.

    The whole hypothesis may be a case of what researchers call the ecological fallacy, which is when “two things happen to be true and really have nothing to do with one another,” Katz said. For instance, one could hypothesize that high-speed Internet access protects against tuberculosis because there is a lot more high-speed Internet access in areas of the world where TB rates are low, Katz said.”

    • NEILIO March 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      Just to show what I did say in an earlier post I copied and pasted it here:

      “Their heart rates were elevated because the mixture of oxygen in the air was reduced by the increase in CO2! Their heart rates increased to suply their bodies with the same amount of oxygen they were getting right before they entered the climate controlled room! Which was probably why they were hungrier too, come to think of it. Occam’s razor guys, come on.”

      It’s true the doc above says the rate of breathing increases to get rid of the extra CO2, but I’m pretty shure, from what I’ve been reading, that our lungs do not absorb CO2 into the blood stream and the heavier breathing is due to the fact that increased CO2 in the air will result in less CO2 being released from the alveoli. Then blood CO2 levels rise affecting the cells in the medula oblongota which signal the lungs to work harder.
      Our lungs absorb O2 through alveoli, our bodies use O2 with glucose to make energy, from that process CO2 is created and it is exuded through the alveoli back into the lungs. So it is the presence of CO2 in the blood from our own bodies energy production that makes our blood pH lower, it is not from CO2 in the atmosphere. That just displaces O2 and the purpose of the heavier breathing is to get more O2, and get rid of CO2. So I think I was essentially correct because they go hand in hand.

    • Rob N. Hood March 26, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      This guy’s last statement above is specious, and self-serving. CO2 makes people eat more, then gain weight. And the two aren’t related? Really? Wow. If you believe that line of thinking send me $200 now and a rich prince in Ghana will sent you $10,000 later. Ok? Cool.

  6. Rob N. Hood March 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    E.g.: What he’s saying, above, then would equal this: Breathe slower and you will lose weight! The guy will make millions! Oh wait. Breathing slower won’t cost any one anything. Oh well- weight problem for Americans and the world- SOLVED…

    Wow- what difficult problems CAN’T Rightys solve quickly, easily and inexpensively??!!

  7. Rob N. Hood March 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Still- send me that money…!

  8. NEILIO March 27, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577291352882984274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
    “The direct warming due to doubling CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be calculated to cause a warming of about one degree Celsius. The IPCC computer models predict a much larger warming, three degrees Celsius or even more, because they assume changes in water vapor or clouds that supposedly amplify the direct warming from CO2. Many lines of observational evidence suggest that this “positive feedback” also has been greatly exaggerated.

    There has indeed been some warming, perhaps about 0.8 degrees Celsius, since the end of the so-called Little Ice Age in the early 1800s. Some of that warming has probably come from increased amounts of CO2, but the timing of the warming—much of it before CO2 levels had increased appreciably—suggests that a substantial fraction of the warming is from natural causes that have nothing to do with mankind.

    Frustrated by the lack of computer-predicted warming over the past decade, some IPCC supporters have been claiming that “extreme weather” has become more common because of more CO2. But there is no hard evidence this is true. After an unusually cold winter in 2011 (December 2010-February 2011) the winter of 2012 was unusually warm in the continental United States. But the winter of 2012 was bitter in Europe, Asia and Alaska.

    Weather conditions similar to 2012 occurred in the winter of 1942, when the U.S. Midwest was unusually warm, and when the Wehrmacht encountered the formidable forces of “General Frost” in a Russian winter not unlike the one Russians just had.”

  9. Rob N. Hood March 27, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Show me the money. Ach Tung!

  10. Rob N. Hood March 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Breathing slooowly, becommming thinnnner….

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