Mitigar el calentamiento global también disminuye la obesidad

LONDRES – Mitigar el cambio climático ofrece oportunidades incomparables para mejorar la salud y el bienestar del ser humano. En efecto, las políticas de reducción de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero pueden traer consigo una disminución significativa de las enfermedades cardiacas y respiratorias, el cáncer, la obesidad, la diabetes, la depresión y las muertes y lesiones por accidentes automovilísticos.

Estos beneficios para la salud surgen porque la política ambiental afecta necesariamente a dos de los principales determinantes de la salud humana: la nutrición y el movimiento. Aunque los profesionales de la salud reconocen cada vez más los beneficios de las políticas que abordan el cambio climático, los encargados del diseño de políticas no los valoran tan ampliamente. La existencia de estos beneficios para la salud supone una reducción radical de los costos netos de emprender acciones firmes para mitigar el cambio climático –lo que significa que el no comprender su importancia podría tener graves consecuencias ambientales.

Los múltiples beneficios para la salud derivados de la reducción de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero han quedado documentados en investigaciones recientes. Para cumplir las metas de reducción de emisiones en el sector de los transportes se necesitaría, además de reducir el uso del automóvil, aumentar ligeramente las caminatas y el uso de la bicicleta. Sobre la base de evidencias epidemiológicas que vinculan la actividad física con la salud, el aumento resultante de esa actividad reduciría en gran medida las tasas de enfermedad crónica: entre el 10% y el 20% en el caso de las enfermedades cardiacas y los derrames cerebrales, entre el 12% y el 18% en el del cáncer de mama y el 8% en el de la demencia senil.

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