Global population obesity fear

Researchers claim rising levels of obesity around the world could have the same implications for world resources as an extra one billion people.

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How obesity could impact the weight of nations

Researchers predict that if all people had the same average body mass index as Americans, the total human biomass would increase by 58 million tonnes.

The data was collected from the UN and the World Health Organisation Credit: Reuters

Figures show that while the average global weight per person is 62kg in 2005, Britons weighed 75kg. In the US, the average adult weighed 81kg.

Across Europe, the average weight was 70.8kg compared to just 57.7kg in Asia.

More than half of people living in Europe are overweight (55.6%) compared to only 24.2% of Asian people. Almost three-quarters of people living in north America were overweight.

Tackling fatness may be 'critical to world food security'

Increasing biomass will have important implications for global resource requirements, including food demand and the overall ecological footprint of our species. Although the concept of biomass is rarely applied to the human species, the ecological implications of increasing body mass are significant and ought to be taken into account when evaluating future trends and planning for future resource challenges. Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability.

Everyone accepts that population growth threatens global environmental sustainability - our study shows that population fatness is also a major threat. Unless we tackle both population and fatness, our chances are slim.

– BMC Public Health research


Weight gain around the world 'as damaging as rising population'

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say that tackling population weight is crucial for food security and ecological sustainability, otherwise it will have the same impact as adding an extra billion people to the planet.

  • The world's adult population weighs 287 million tonnes
  • 15 million of which is due to being overweight
  • 3.5 million is due to obesity

Data: BMC Public Health

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