Photo: Wikimedia Commons
While everyone is hemming and hawing over New York City Mayor Bloomberg‘s proposed ban on large sodas, you have to consider this: the United States makes up one-third of the world’s weight from obesity, despite representing just 5 per cent of the global population. That’s the conclusion from a new report by European researchers, which found that the global population collectively weighs 316 million tons, making humanity about 17 million tons overweight.
Live Science’s Wyne Parry says this is equivalent to having an extra 242 million people of average body weight on the planet.
According to the centres for Disease Control, a healthy Body Mass Idex (BMI) ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 and is found by dividing a person’s weight in pounds by the square of their height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703.
Using 2005 estimates of body mass index and height for 190 countries, researchers found that the average global body weight of one person was 137 pounds. In North America, the average body weight was 178 pounds, compared to 127 pounds in Asia:
According to the report:
If all countries had the same BMI distribution as USA, the energy required to maintain obese
biomass would increase by 481%, corresponding to the energy requirements of 137 million
The authors conclude that increasing levels of fatness place the same demand on the global food supply as an extra half a billion people living on Earth.
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