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World’s Growing Obesity is Like Adding an Extra Billion People

Want
to rile up a Malthusian?
Tell ‘em that not only there will be billions more people on Earth, there
will be billions more FAT people!

According to researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine, the increasing level of fatness in the world is as bad as an
extra billion people:

[the researchers] calculate the weight of the global population
at 287 million tonnes. They estimate that 15 million tonnes of this
mass is due to people being overweight, and 3.5 million tonnes due to
obesity.

Using World Health Organization data from 2005, the scientists
worked out that the average global body weight was 62kg (137lb). But
there were huge regional differences. In North America, the average
was 80.7kg (178lb), while in Asia it was 57.7kg (127lb) .

While Asia accounts for 61% of the global population, it only
accounts for 13% of the weight of the world due to obesity.

One of the authors of the paper, Prof Ian Roberts, explained the
thinking behind the calculation.

"When people think about environmental sustainability, they
immediately focus on population. Actually, when it comes down to it
– it’s not how many mouths there are to feed, it’s how much flesh there
is on the planet."

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