Obese People Burn Hotter

I never really thought about fat people burning hotter. Sounds morbid. In fact, I think thinking about the obese corpses of dead people burning defines “morbid.”

My World Geography students keep journals. They scour English-language foreign newspapers for informational tidbits which can be tied to geography. Since we cannot take a field trip, we cannot get a true sense of life abroad. I want them to develop a nascent sense of geography in other places, and one way I’ve figured out how to do encourage them is to have them scrutinize the news of other countries.

My students write a 1-pg response and a hardcopy article is attached; perhaps I should have them author a blog…anyway.

A student recently presented me with an article from Der Spiegle (the Mirror), a German news source. In Germany, cremation of a loved-ones body is popular. Death is a growth industry in Germany, as the number of crematoriums has increased from 100 in 2000 to 159 in 2012, with more being planned.

Coupled with the increase in number of crematoriums is the increase in girth of modern Germans. Recently, in January 2012, a 400-lb corpse was cremated. The burning human fat increased temperatures in the crematorium so much flames shot from the 33-ft tall chimney, melting portions. Fire officials calculated the temperature of the chimney was in excess of 1,100F (600C).

German crematorium operators are concerned. As the German population grows heavier, and cremation gains in popularity, burning human fat is now an issue. Many furnaces are not capable of handling the burning fat of over-weight Germans. Furnaces are not capable of handing the plus-sized coffins, either.

Could Western diets be an issue? More specifically, are Germans eating more like U.S. citizens? More Big Macs, more Kentucky Fried Chicken, and more Taco Bell?

Obviously, the current furnaces were built with a smaller German in mind. The question then becomes, what has created the change in German physiques? Diets? Is the globalization of fast food to blame? Are German becoming more sedentary? Indigenous Germans are getting older, as a statement of fact. Are they not exercising as much?

Here is the article, for your reading enjoyment.

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