A new tool based on data collected by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows you which country you most resemble according to your Body Mass Index (BMI). Driven by curiosity about my own profile, I gave it a whirl. I entered my age, height, and weight and in just one second I got the results back. (I am most like women my age in Paraguay, as it turns out.) But, I was surprised by the complexity of another picture I got back about the environmental impact of this aggregated view of each country’s BMI profile:
Researchers see global weight gain as a bigger threat to mankind than population growth. As well as the health implications, experts are also concerned about the environmental impact. The adult human population has a combined weight of 287,000,000 tonnes, researchers say. Increasing obesity could have the same impact on global resources as an extra billion people, they believe.
Looking at the data, very interesting questions emerge. How many more people could be fed with excess food consumed by some countries? What are the implications for food access around the world? Are there other factors that would affect how we see the situation?
Teachers: is this something you would use in your classroom to base a lesson on? If so, we would love to hear about it. Tell us!
–Julie Noblitt, Green Ninja Team