The combined weight of the world’s adult population is 287 million tons. Fifteen million of those tons are the result are people being overweight with 3.5 million tons attributed to obesity. By 2050 the world population will have increases by 2.3 billion people.
In the United States alone, one-third of the population is overweight and another 35% are obese. The percentage of those who are obese is expected to rise to 44% by 2030, and the thirteen worse states will have an obesity rate of 60%.
About three-quarters of all people living in North America are overweight. Although the continent has only 6% of the world’s population, it has 34% of the world’s biomass mass because of obesity.
All these extra pounds produce the same outcome as having an additional one billion people on the planet. Increased body mass translates into higher energy requirements because more energy is needed to move a heavy body.
The sum of all these factors is trouble. Scientists are predicting a strain on world food security and express concerns about ecological sustainability due to the inability of the world’s population to combat being overweight and obese.
Food Insecure Households As A Factor
Most households in the United States are food secure and have enough food to support the lifestyles of all members of the household. Fifteen percent of households in the United States are unable to make that claim though. Their access to adequate food is limited and often uncertain. Such households are food insecure.
Food insecure households often eat a less varied diet, partake in federal food and nutrition assistance programs, and receive emergency food from community food pantries or kitchens causing disruptions in normal eating patterns. More than 500,000 United States households are subject to such disruptions and lack adequate food.
Food insecurity may cause weight gain because less expensive foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients. In addition, households with insufficient resources spend less on food in general and avoid the purchase of the more expensive and healthy choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Food insecurity disproportionately impacts households with below poverty-level incomes, households headed by a single adult, and households headed by racial/ethnic minorities.
Marketing As A Factor
Worldwide emerging economies are switching to more Western diets as they
begin to economically prosper. Unfortunately for these fiscally emergent countries, the Western diet is blamed by many for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
While people are always free to choose, the more sensible food standards are hardly the stuff of promotion and advertising. For every dollar that is spent to encourage the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables, there are five hundred dollars spent to promote the purchase of junk food.
Much of the food today is engineered and processed. These foods are filled with salt, fat, refined grains, and sugar -- all ingredients that our bodies crave and that are profitable to sell.
While there is currently a food movement in the United States and around the world of people growing their own food and eating locally and organically, more needs to be done to curb the very real potential for health and economic crisis that is being predicted by many.
Brisbane Times - http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/obesity-a-threat-to-food-security-20120618-20jb5.html
Healthy Eating Research - http://www.healthyeatingresearch.org/images/stories/her_research_briefs/HER_Food_Insecurity_042910_FINAL.pdf
Mail Online - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2160934/Overweight-obese-threaten-world-food-security-study-warns.html
Vitals - http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/18/13922737-if-you-think-were-fat-now-wait-till-2030?lite
Voice of America - http://www.voanews.com/content/decapua-food-power-27jun12/1253203.html
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Published On: September 19, 2012