Fun facts day! From the Globe and Mail's If entire world was as heavy as Americans, that would equal an extra billion people: study—
If all of the world’s population was as overweight as Americans, the resulting increase in global human weight would be equivalent to adding nearly an extra billion average-sized people, says a new study...
Based on 2005 data, the world’s overweight people account for an extra biomass equivalent to 242 million average-sized people, the study says.
These fun facts are from RTT News' Obesity Puts Pressure On Earth's Resources: Study—
Here is one more reason why obesity and overweight need to be tackled on a war footing. They put undue pressure on Earth's dwindling resources, say researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This is because people's weight - and not just the population size - determines the energy requirements of the human race.
Using data from the United Nations and World Health Organization, the researchers, led by Professor Ian Roberts, computed a table of the heaviest and lightest nations. The table was based on theoretical Total Energy Expenditure calculated from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) tables for adults in 2005.
Heaviest 10 nations
1. The United States
6. United Arab Emirates
7. Trinidad and Tobago
Lightest 10 nations
1. North Korea
5. Democ. Rep. of the Congo
7. Sri Lanka
The researchers estimated the weight of the adult human population was 287 million tonnes in 2005, out of which 15 million tonnes was due to being overweight and 3.5 million tonnes due to obesity.
The fattest people on Earth! And here's some mindless extrapolation—
The population of the United States for example is expected to increase from 310 million in 2010 to 403 million by 2050.
And every one of them will be fat, dumb and happy.
Most of that increase will come from immigration but newcomers tend to adopt the diet and lifestyle of their new countries, with the resulting increase in body weight.
“The increased global demand for food arising from the increase in body mass is likely to contribute to higher food prices.
Because of the greater purchasing power of more affluent nations (who also have higher average body mass), the worst effects of increasing food prices will be experienced by the world’s poor,” the study noted.
Well — that's a surprise! And of course the poor ones are also the fat ones. There's a good reason for that according to researcher Marion Nestle. This text (and the video below) are from the Daily Ticker's Why We’re Fat: It’s the Government and Wall Street’s Fault, Marion Nestle Says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts the obesity rate will jump from 36 percent in 2012 to 42 percent by 2030. Around the world, 10 percent of adults are obese, and an estimated 3 million deaths worldwide are caused every year by obesity-related illnesses. In the U.S, 70 percent of adults and 17 percent of teens and children are either overweight or obese...
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public policy at New York University, and one of the leading nutritional experts in the nation, has been trying to change how people eat for years....
Wall Street "forced food companies to try and sell food in an extremely competitive environment," she says. Food manufacturers "had to look for ways to get people to buy more food. And they were really good at it. I blame Wall Street for insisting that corporations have to grow their profits every 90 days."
Traders and analysts may have shifted food companies' focus to producing profits over health, but changes to government policy also contributed to people's relationship with food, she notes.
Large government subsidies given to the corn, wheat, soybean and sugar industries allowed farmers to reap high returns on their crops. Farmers could grow these commodities cheaply and were encouraged by the food industry "to plant as much as they could. Food production increased, and so did calories in the food supply," Nestle writes in her book...
"People perceive fruits and vegetables as being very expensive," she says. "And in fact they are relatively because since 1980 the index cost of fruits and vegetables has gone up by 40 percent.
Whereas the index price of sodas and snack foods have gone down by 20 to 30 percent. So there's something wrong with the way we're pricing foods, and that has a lot to do with government policies. I think we need to create a society that makes it easier for people to eat more healthfully."
In accordance with my new glass half-full policy, which admittedly I have been lax about lately, I want to to tell you that there is some Good News in all of this. For the hoi polloi, there's nothing as effective as perpetual economic recession and government insolvency to keep those unwanted pounds off. And there's nothing like the destruction of the Earth's biosphere if you want to pare the global human population down to a manageable size.
Thus we anticipate a reversal of these deplorable trends in the future. That's the Good News.