Want to rile up a Malthusian? Tell 'em that not only there will be billions more people on Earth, there will be billions more FAT people!
According to researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the increasing level of fatness in the world is as bad as an extra billion people:
[the researchers] calculate the weight of the global population at 287 million tonnes. They estimate that 15 million tonnes of this mass is due to people being overweight, and 3.5 million tonnes due to obesity.
Using World Health Organization data from 2005, the scientists worked out that the average global body weight was 62kg (137lb). But there were huge regional differences. In North America, the average was 80.7kg (178lb), while in Asia it was 57.7kg (127lb) .
While Asia accounts for 61% of the global population, it only accounts for 13% of the weight of the world due to obesity.
One of the authors of the paper, Prof Ian Roberts, explained the thinking behind the calculation.
"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's how much flesh there is on the planet."