Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine estimated that the adult human population now weighs in at 287 million tonnes, 18.5 million of which is due to the overweight and obese.
Most of the ‘extra weight’ caused by the overweight and obese is concentrated in the rich part of the world, with the US supporting the most extra flesh and the UK coming in at 18th, despite our small population.
The study says that the world’s ‘spare tyre’ from consuming too much is not only shortening the lives of those individuals but driving climate change and destruction of the environment.
The study will be launched at the largest-ever United Nations conference, Rio+20, where 194 nations are working towards a series of new international agreements on sustainable development.
The new research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, drew up a ‘league table’ of the ‘fattest’ nations that have the biggest share of obesity.
The United States is the heaviest nation on Earth if you are only weighing adult humans. While the average body mass globally was 62kg, North Americans weigh in at 80.7kg.
Despite only making up five per cent of the world’s population, the US accounts for almost a third of the world’s weight due to obesity.
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 UK adult population is 13.8kg fatter than the rest of the world, with an average adult body mass of 75.8kg. Despite being only one per cent of the world population, the UK takes up almost 3 per cent of the extra weight due to the overweight and obese.