You won’t be surprised to learn that this is all our fault
Note to self: start investing in Weight Watchers.
Quick guess: Western lifestyles will be deemed unsustainable!
Report: World’s population is 17 million tons overweight
Obesity is threatening the world’s future food security, according to a study published Monday that calculated the weight of the global population at 316 million tons.
…In a report published in the journal BMC Public Health [PDF file here], the researchers estimated that 17 million tons of the global body mass was due to people being overweight.
Despite only making up five per cent of the world’s population, the United States accounts for almost a third of the world’s weight due to obesity, the researchers found.
In contrast, Asia has 61 per cent of the world’s population but only 13 per cent of the world’s weight due to obesity.
The study is published to coincide with the largest-ever United Nations conference, Rio+20, which will discuss sustainable development.
Using World Health Organization data from 2005, the scientists calculated the average global body weight at 137 pounds, but in North America the average was 178 pounds.
One of the authors of the paper, Professor Ian Roberts, told the BBC: “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 is how much flesh there is on the planet.”
“If every country in the world had the same level of fatness that we see in the USA, in weight terms that would be like an extra billion people of world average body mass,” he added.
“The same level of fatness.” You damned fat Americans, said the British scientist. When, really, shouldn’t we want to raise the “average global body weight?”
If the world’s average body weight is 137 pounds, that means half (or so) of the world’s population averages less than that. We know there are large swaths of population where malnutrition – not obesity – is the problem. But reducing global malnutrition will raise the global weight average! More people living in functioning, wealth-creating economies (instead of hardscrabble subsistence lifestyles) will also create more fat people!
But according to Dr. Roberts, “it’s not how many mouths there are to feed, it is how much flesh there is on the planet.”
So stay malnourished, you greedy third-worlders!
Not to mention: it is, too, how many “mouth there are to feed,” or at least, it’s how those mouths are divided up. Remember:
Researcher: Divorce Bad for Environment
“Save water, shower together,” young people proclaimed a few years ago.
It turns out they may have been right.
Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of the extra households created when people divorce, Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University, estimated.
I’d wager that “number of mouths” is closely correllated to “number of households.” And a greater number of households is bad for the environment!
So my question is: are two skinny people living separately better or worse for the environment than one fat person?