Researchers have suggested that the food demands from obese people are having the same effect as having an extra one billion people on earth.
Scientists behind the research, carried out at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said tackling population weight is crucial for both food security and ecological sustainability.
The United Nations (UN) predicts that, by 2050, there could be as many as an extra 2.3billion people on the planet which researchers say would have a huge impact on the globe’s food resources, as well as people’s health.
The study revealed that the world’s adult population currently weighs in at 287million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes is down to being overweight and 3.5million because of obesity.
Data used in the study was collected from the UN and the World Health Organisation and researchers found that Europe and North America was the main obesity hotspot.
Over half of people in Europe were found to be overweight while around three-quarters of people living in North America were overweight.
North America only has six per cent of the world’s population but has a massive 34 per cent of the world’s biomass mass due to obesity.
Researchers said that if all people had the same average body mass index (BMI) as Americans, then the total human biomass across the globe would increase by a huge 58 million tonnes.
They wrote in the study: “Increasing biomass will have important implications for global resource requirements, including food demand and the overall ecological footprint of our 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.
“Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability.”
The US, Kuwait and Croatia were revealed to be the heaviest three nations.
In terms of the lightest nations, North Korea topped the list followed by Cambodia and Burundi.