While overpopulation is bad for our planet, it turns out that too many fat people is just as detrimental, perhaps even more harmful. According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health the obesity epidemic is like adding one billion extra people to our already crowded planet.
Researchers found that while only 6% of the world’s population lives in the United States, one-third of obesity is found in the country. In their report researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculate the weight of the global population at 287 million tonnes. Researchers then estimated that 15 million tonnes is caused by fat people while 3.5 million tonnes is due to obesity.
While the average weight of people around the world is just 137 lbs. that number increases to 178 lbs. in the United States.
The study found that Asia, while accounting for 61% of the world’s population has only 13% of its overall weight.
Researchers are quick to point out that it isn’t just poor countries that remain skinny, in fact Japan is considered a model for proper awareness geared towards obesity, according to researchers:
“The Japanese example is quite strong. Average BMI (Body Mass Index) in USA in 2005 was 28.7. In Japan, it was 22. You can be lean without being really poor, and Japan seems to have pulled that off.”
Researchers say various variables play into negative impacts on our planet because of obesity, one of the main considerations being automobile use. In the United States and several Arab countries that made the list for high obesity numbers, automobiles are heavily relied upon for transportation which in turn leads to less physical activity.
Throw in a higher consumption of food, the over processing of many foods obese people are consuming and various other factors and it becomes easy to see why obesity can be just as bad for our planet, if not worse than overpopulation.