Despite only making up 1% of the world’s population, Britain supports a staggering 3% of humanity’s excess flab.
This worrying statistic was revealed by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who recently launched the first study of its kind calculating the environmental impact of obesity.
The project estimated that the whole adult human population weighs a total of 287 million tons – 18.5 million tons of which is unnecessary flab.
The average body mass of people living in Britain is 75.8kg (11stone 13lbs), 13.8kg heavier than the global average of 62kg (9 stone 7lbs).
Americans take the throne as the planet’s heaviest nation, weighing in at 80.7kg (12 stone 7lbs) per person. The U.S. also accounts for a third of the world’s body mass, despite only containing 5% of the human population. This is due to the high rate of overweight and obese individuals living in the country.
Asia is home to a massive 61% of the world’s population but only 13% of the excess weight, making it the skinniest nation on Earth.
With so many millions of people across the globe eating too much food, precious resources are beginning to dwindle. Overconsumption results in a depletion of food sources, widespread deforestation and resulting release of greenhouse gases causing immense harm to the environment.
Professor Ian Roberts, who led the ground-breaking study, believes human fatness is as much of a threat to the future of the planet as overpopulation. He claims that the problem is not so much that we are eating more than we did, but that we are moving less. With the advent of machinery we have stopped using our bodies to get us around and rely more on cars, trains and other methods of transport instead.
“We do not move our bodies so much, but we are biologically programmed to eat,” he said. “Your body is a vehicle designed for your personal transportation and is fuelled by food. So if you have a big body you consume more food than a small body.”
Although it is widely accepted that overpopulation is a major global problem, the impact of obesity on the future of humanity is grossly underestimated.
A nutritionist may be able to advise you on how to cut down on the amount of food you eat without compromising your health. Eco-nutrition is a new branch of nutrition focussing on the environmental impact of the foods we consume. To find out more, please visit our page on Eco-nutrition.
Alternatively, contact a nutritionist here.
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