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Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:42 AM

Obesity a threat to food security

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Scientists say that overweight people are a threat to future food security.

Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra one billion people, researchers say after examining the average weight of adults across the globe.

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) say that tackling population weight is crucial for food security and ecological sustainability.

The United Nations predicts that by 2050 there could be a further 2.3 billion people on the planet and that the ecological implications of the rising population will be exacerbated by increases in average body mass, researchers said.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/obesity-a-threat-to-food-security-20120618-20jb5.html

119 replies, 23648 views

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Arrow 119 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obesity a threat to food security (Original post)
bananas Jun 2012 OP
lookingfortruth Jun 2012 #1
msongs Jun 2012 #5
DonCoquixote Jun 2012 #7
Beacool Jun 2012 #13
snooper2 Jun 2012 #16
Beacool Jun 2012 #23
snooper2 Jun 2012 #25
GliderGuider Jun 2012 #63
may3rd Jun 2012 #69
CTyankee Jun 2012 #109
armodem08 Jun 2012 #57
may3rd Jun 2012 #70
loyalsister Jul 2012 #116
arikara Jun 2012 #36
Viva_La_Revolution Jun 2012 #22
loyalsister Jul 2012 #117
bananas Jun 2012 #2
rfranklin Jun 2012 #6
may3rd Jun 2012 #71
Enrique Jun 2012 #32
zbdent Jun 2012 #3
Berlin Expat Jun 2012 #19
Arugula Latte Jun 2012 #60
FrodosPet Jun 2012 #52
may3rd Jun 2012 #72
zbdent Jun 2012 #78
msanthrope Jul 2012 #115
bananas Jun 2012 #4
secondwind Jun 2012 #8
sunwyn Jun 2012 #15
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #85
sunwyn Jul 2012 #112
RitchieRich Jun 2012 #9
harmonicon Jun 2012 #10
RitchieRich Jun 2012 #47
harmonicon Jun 2012 #51
RitchieRich Jun 2012 #53
forthemiddle Jun 2012 #65
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #82
JI7 Jul 2012 #118
noamnety Jun 2012 #12
RitchieRich Jun 2012 #48
laundry_queen Jun 2012 #110
petronius Jun 2012 #24
Beacool Jun 2012 #11
cosmicone Jun 2012 #14
CoffeeCat Jun 2012 #17
AdHocSolver Jun 2012 #100
woo me with science Jul 2012 #119
SecularMotion Jun 2012 #18
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #21
Nihil Jun 2012 #28
may3rd Jun 2012 #75
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #31
soc7 Jun 2012 #20
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #26
Generic Other Jun 2012 #27
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #33
Generic Other Jun 2012 #35
Inkfreak Jun 2012 #29
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #30
Warren DeMontague Jun 2012 #37
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #39
Warren DeMontague Jun 2012 #40
smirkymonkey Jun 2012 #66
Exultant Democracy Jun 2012 #34
sense Jun 2012 #38
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #41
Dont call me Shirley Jun 2012 #43
sense Jun 2012 #93
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #87
Bad_Ronald Jun 2012 #91
Dont call me Shirley Jun 2012 #42
tawadi Jun 2012 #44
FiveGoodMen Jun 2012 #56
NickB79 Jun 2012 #45
sense Jun 2012 #46
may3rd Jun 2012 #74
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #88
sense Jun 2012 #95
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #96
sense Jun 2012 #97
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #98
MightyOkie Jun 2012 #101
sense Jun 2012 #99
2ndAmForComputers Jun 2012 #105
sense Jun 2012 #106
2ndAmForComputers Jun 2012 #107
sense Jun 2012 #108
laundry_queen Jun 2012 #111
4th law of robotics Jun 2012 #50
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #89
Beacool Jun 2012 #64
Puzzledtraveller Jun 2012 #49
Nikia Jun 2012 #54
bitchkitty Jun 2012 #67
sense Jun 2012 #77
bitchkitty Jun 2012 #80
sense Jun 2012 #81
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #90
sense Jun 2012 #94
PoliticAverse Jun 2012 #102
sense Jun 2012 #103
WinkyDink Jun 2012 #55
BlueIris Jun 2012 #58
Systematic Chaos Jun 2012 #59
crimson77 Jun 2012 #104
GliderGuider Jun 2012 #61
Neoma Jun 2012 #62
may3rd Jun 2012 #68
Neoma Jun 2012 #73
Nikia Jun 2012 #79
clang1 Jun 2012 #76
Bad_Ronald Jun 2012 #83
clang1 Jun 2012 #84
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #86
silentwarrior Jun 2012 #92
hedgehog Jul 2012 #113
Marrah_G Jul 2012 #114

Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:47 AM

1. That is fuckin B.S. and just disrespectful to people.

 

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Response to lookingfortruth (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:53 AM

5. good description of people who eat way more than they need nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:55 AM

7. or

people who are fat because it is expensive to eat your nice organic produce.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 09:14 AM

13. That's true.

In many poor neighborhoods it's much easier to find a McDonald's than a supermarket. The most I've seen are "bodegas", not exactly a place to buy fresh produce.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:27 AM

16. You have an address?

From the research I've done, the majority of what you would call "food deserts" are located in the boonies, out in the middle of nowhere...

If you are living in the middle of Nebraska, are poor, and don't have a car, that's the person that is having a rough time (unless they have chickens in the coop out back)

Everyone else is using this as an excuse

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 11:31 AM

23. Most inner cities don't have good supermarkets.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 11:54 AM

25. address?

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 12:57 PM

63. Try inner city Detroit.

There's a reason the community garden movement has exploded in Detroit. I posted about it here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112710635

An urgent call to action on food re-localization

Detroit is apparently already a laboratory for this. I heard scholar and community activist Charles Simmons speaking last weekend about the situation in Detroit. He compared the situation in the inner city to Greece. Fresh food is by and large not available, most food is the unfood that's being sold in liquor stores. But they now have 1200 community gardens that will be feeding people this summer, and more are on the way.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #63)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:41 AM

69. Wild game will no longer be urban legend in Detroit

 

in order to boost property values, whole city blocks are being turned into prairie fields.
A habitat free of humanity blight

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Response to Beacool (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:18 AM

109. We have had one since 1996 here in New Haven thanks to Yale Law students

and some faculty. Back when Bill Clinton's welfare reform bill became law, these students and faculty managed to broker a deal for a Shaw's supermarket to open in a "food desert," serving not only the nutritional needs of the neighborhood, but also the employment needs of mothers who had to transition to work from welfare. The store had to close briefly in 2010 but again a new batch of Yalies jumped in and managed to bring in another supermarket chain store in the same building. It should be said that we do have a Democratic mayor and Board of Aldermen and are represented by a very progressive liberal in Congress (Rosa DeLauro).

I recently learned that several of the original workers of the original supermarket are still there. And the good news is that the new store (a Stop and Shop) is unionized!

If this is the People's Republic of New Haven, I say good for us!

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 06:50 PM

57. Here's your f*cking doubleburger...

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html

(excuse my French, it's one of my favorite quotes from Good Will Hunting)

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Response to armodem08 (Reply #57)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:43 AM

70. can I get a diet coke with that ? Super size that order for me

 

I checked out a section of that map in pink . My own brother lives in a desert...... I know the area... no fast food franchises .
coincidence ?

I'm luvin it

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:46 PM

116. Not mine

Within that radius is a building for people with disabilities, as well as low income housing. Urban tract of 100% people with low access.
There is a city bus that runs on very limited awkward hours to get people to the store. Otherwise there are a number of expensive restaurants. The least expensive places are Dominoes and Papa Johns Pizza, Subway, Jimmy Johns and a Hardees.

There is one little quick stop with a huge candy and potato chip aisle a long with a large section of booze. Then there is a very small section short one dedicated to outrageously priced boxed canned soup dinners with the dry pasta. Also a tiny fridge with more packaged junk as well as milk, eggs, and butter, and few condiments. Lots of ice cream in the freezer.

Along with the large amount of soda, they do sell to-go bottles of junk juice, energy drinks and plenty of cold Starbucks coffee.

Cigarettes and liquor are probably what keeps them in business since the store is also located near a a college campus.

Adress:
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/go-to-the-locator.aspx

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 03:23 PM

36. They did a program about that

Inner city people that have no access at all to proper food. They live on junk.

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:59 AM

22. Wait a damn minute. My skinny dad eats 3 times what I do

yet I'm fat and he's not. I get more exercise than he does, way more.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #22)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:53 PM

117. The exceptions always disprove the rule

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:48 AM

2. Here's the press release

http://www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20120618

The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass

18 Jun 2012

The world population is over seven billion and all of these people need feeding. However, the energy requirement of a species depends not only on numbers but on its average mass. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Public Health has estimated the total mass of the human population, defined its distribution by region, and the proportion of this biomass due to the overweight and obesity.

Up to half of all food eaten is burned up in physical activity. Increasing mass means higher energy requirements, because it takes more energy to move a heavy body. Even at rest a bigger body burns more energy.

Using data from the United Nations and World Health Organization, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated that the adult human population weights in at 287 million tonnes. 15 millions of which is due to the overweight and 3.5 million due to obesity.

While the average body mass globally was 62kg, North America, which has the highest body mass of any continent, with an average body mass of 80.7kg. North America has only 6% of the world’s population but 34% of the world’s biomass mass due to obesity. In contrast Asia has 61% of the world’s population but only 13% of the world’s biomass due to obesity.

If all countries had the same average BMI as the USA the total human biomass would increase by 58 million tonnes - this is the equivalent of an additional 935 million people of world average body mass.

Explaining the implications of this study Sarah Walpole said, “Our results emphasize the importance of looking at biomass rather than just population numbers when considering the ecological impact of a species, especially humans.”

This study was based on the 2005 WHO SURF report so it is an underestimate of the current situation. The world’s population is continuing to increase in size – the UN predicts that by 2050 there could be 8.9 billion people on the planet.

Prof Ian Roberts, continued, “Everyone accepts that population growth threatens global environmental sustainability – our study shows that population fatness is also a major threat. Unless we tackle both population and fatness - our chances are slim.”

-ENDS-
Media Contact
Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2370
Mob: +44 (0) 778 698 1967
Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com


Notes to Editors

1. The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass
Sarah C Walpole, David Prieto-Merino, Phil Edwards, John Cleland, Gretchen Stevens and Ian Roberts.
BMC Public Health (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.

2. BMC Public Health is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal has a special focus on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioral, and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

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Response to bananas (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:54 AM

6. Food shortages will slim everyone down real fast...so why worry?

 

unless the obese take up arms and commandeer the food supply.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:49 AM

71. Thank you for the prophecy, dear leader. lol n/t

 

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Response to bananas (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:46 PM

32. Prof. Ian Roberts made a funny

"Unless we tackle both population and fatness - our chances are slim.”

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:52 AM

3. Soylent Green will fix that ...

but then those eating it will die of complications of cholesterol and eating too many fatty foods ...

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Response to zbdent (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:50 AM

19. Which in turn

will lead to more raw material for Soylent Green!

Hooray!! Problem solved!

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Response to Berlin Expat (Reply #19)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 12:12 PM

60. The circle of life! It's beautiful!

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Response to zbdent (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:38 PM

52. The Republican solution

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Response to zbdent (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:50 AM

72. Soylent Green ... is Chinese ?

 

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Response to may3rd (Reply #72)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 01:56 PM

78. maybe, but after you eat some,

an hour later, you want more ...

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Response to zbdent (Reply #78)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:02 PM

115. And the MSG always gives me a headache....nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 07:52 AM

4. Here's the abstract with a link to the paper (open access - free to download)

Here's the full paper (provisional): http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-12-439.pdf

Here's the abstract:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/439/abstract

Research article
The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass

Sarah C Walpole, David Prieto-Merino, Phil Edwards, John Cleland, Gretchen Stevens and Ian Roberts


For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:439 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-439
Published: 18 June 2012

Abstract (provisional)

Background

The energy requirement of species at each trophic level in an ecological pyramid is a function of the number of organisms and their average mass. Regarding human populations, although considerable attention is given to estimating the number of people, much less is given to estimating average mass, despite evidence that average body mass is increasing. We estimate global human biomass, its distribution by region and the proportion of biomass due to overweight and obesity.

Methods

For each country we used data on body mass index (BMI) and height distribution to estimate average adult body mass. We calculated total biomass as the product of population size and average body mass. We estimated the percentage of the population that is overweight (BMI > 25) and obese (BMI > 30) and the biomass due to overweight and obesity.

Results

In 2005, global adult human biomass was approximately 287 million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes were due to overweight (BMI > 25), a mass equivalent to that of 242 million people of average body mass (5% of global human biomass). Biomass due to obesity was 3.5 million tonnes, the mass equivalent of 56 million people of average body mass (1.2% of human biomass). North America has 6% of the world population but 34% of biomass due to obesity. Asia has 61% of the world population but 13% of biomass due to obesity. One tonne of human biomass corresponds to approximately 12 adults in North America and 17 adults in Asia. If all countries had the BMI distribution of the USA, the increase in human biomass of 58 million tonnes would be equivalent in mass to an extra 935 million people of average body mass, and have energy requirements equivalent to that of 473 million adults.

Conclusions

Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth. The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.



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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 08:01 AM

8. I think they are talking about body mass also..... 2.3 billion MORE? I see GMO foods in



our future, for sure!

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Response to secondwind (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:08 AM

15. GMO foods are a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.

Take wheat for example. It have been modified in the last 50 years or so that it bears little resemblance to the wheat our grandparents used. It has been implicated in obesity, gluten sensitivity, celiac, and chron's to name a few.

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Response to sunwyn (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 04:44 PM

85. [Citation Needed]

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #85)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:23 AM

112. One example is wheat. Wheat has been genetically modified over the last 50

years to contain to contain amylopectin A. Amylopectin A rich wheat is a super starch that rates higher on the glycemic index than table sugar. It has also been implicated in the accumulation of visceral fat. Visceral fat has been implicated in many degenerative diseases including high blood sugar and heart disease for starters. Dr. Mark Hyman, whom I respect greatly has published several articles on amylopectin A. BTW sorry this took so long to get back to. I am just getting used to all the features on the new DU.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 08:46 AM

9. Cheaper to eat fast food?

Quicker, to be sure. I feel its a huge cop out to blame economics when its really an issue of education and straightforward laziness.
Leftover pasta and an apple is a fraction of the cost of a McGarbage meal. Being poor as shit, I eat very well. Life is all about choices, and blaming other people for your choices.
To clarify, it is obvious that big business wants you to be sick. So, such being the case, don't go along with it.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 08:59 AM

10. Yeah, when I was waiting an hour for a train last night...

and hadn't eaten for a day, I should have just gone for some leftover pasta and an apple instead of the Burger King that was right there and the only thing open in the station. Stupid me. I've only got three degrees though, so I wouldn't know what smart people do.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:52 PM

47. Chrome won't get you home

I put a phd next to a rock yesterday, it did nothing for the rock.

You in fact could have brown bagged it. Stupid you.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #47)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:29 PM

51. Yeah, between the hotel in the Czech Republic...

... and the train station in England, there were lots of opportunities to pack my own lunch.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #51)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:39 PM

53. sorry

I just couldn't resist teasing you. When I DO eat McTrash, its always a side salad, small burger (um, or two) and a water. It is actually possible to consume it without exploding like


I just don't like it when people try to blame their every single day choices on someone else.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 07:40 AM

65. I have no idea what you ordered

But even Burger King has nutritionally better choices than a Whopper, large Fries, and a large drink.

My only point being is that even if time, location, and convenience are your excuse, the options for a "better" meal are still there.

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