Australian doctors and scientists have warned that obesity rates and climate change are the two great threats to today's civilization.
More than 300 health experts signed an open letter that said these forces were now "seriously damaging our planet'.
"As health professionals, we urge Australian politicians (and the public) to recognise the overlap in the underlying cause of two great health threats that our population now faces," the Herald Sun quoted the experts as stating.
They added: "... the rise of obesity and its life-threatening disease consequences and the great threats to health from global climate change.
"We are now seeing the emergence of health risks caused by excesses in market driven consumerism (including the consumption of energy dense processed foods), energy subsidised exertion-free living, an over-arching pre-occupation with gross domestic product and ... population growth."
The letter also pointed out the callousness in acknowledging the hazards of smoking.
It stated: "In the case of smoking it took 50 years and several million deaths to progress from acknowledgement of the health hazard to application of effective interventions.
"With climate change, we lack the luxury of time and the stakes are much higher."
The letter concluded: "We must seek a sustainable economic system and stable population size that ensures prosperity without endangering both health and environmental quality."
The letter has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.