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Half a Billion Extra People on the Planet: The Result of Global Obesity

This week’s study from the BMC Health Journal found that of the 6 percent world population North America holds, 34 percent of the world’s biomass is found here due to obesity rates. In other words, the United States is number one on the list for heaviest country even though the country’s population makes up a very small percentage of the worlds population. In comparison, Asia holds an impressive 61 percent of the worlds population but only 13 percent of biomass caused by obesity. These differences are not only unbelievable,  but incredible as well and not in a good way).

What all of these complicated numbers and percentages come down to is if every other country had the same percentage of overweight people that America does, it’d be like adding and extra one billion to the worldwide population due to the excess body mass.

Researchers measured this study through energy by the weight of the population rather than by the quantity of people. They did this because it actually takes more energy for an obese person to function than it does the average size person. For the different countries BMC used their data on BMI and height to estimate the average body mass a person should have and then calculated how overweight they were based on that.

This study took place in 2005, when world-wide adult human biomass weighed about 287 million tonnes. About 15 million of that was due to individuals who are considered overweight (their BMI is over 25) which equals enough extra body mass to add another 242 million people. If things were that bad seven years ago, it’s hard to imagine what the numbers are racking up to today.

In conclusion, the BMC said, “Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth.”

Photo From obesityinamerica.org

Also Read:

Obesity is More Expensive for Women

25% of Americans are Obese

Consequences of the Obesity Epidemic

June 27th, 2012

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