ATHENS, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A recent study conducted by scientists in London found that the obese persons of the world are playing an increasingly large role in the rate at which the planet’s finite resources are used.

“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 study concluded.

The findings were published in the BMC Public Health journal earlier this year.

Research was conducted based on the theory that the body mass of a population should be factored into the amount of energy it burns, in addition to the number of people residing in a certain region.

Though obesity touches all corners of the Earth, it was found that Americans were especially weighing down the planet.

“If all countries had the [body mass index] distribution of the USA, the increase in human biomass of 58 million [metric tons] 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,” the research dictated.

Data collected on the BMI and height distribution of the average adult in each country was used to calculate the total biomass resulting from a population’s size and average body mass. The percentage of those in a given country who are overweight and obese was also a factor.

“Although the concept of biomass is rarely applied to the human species, the ecological implications of increasing body mass are significant and ought to be taken into account when evaluating future trends and planning for future resource challenges,” the study found. “Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability.”

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