I remember a time or 12 when, as a kid, I took a little too much food and was reminded by my parents that other kids were starving around the world (especially Africa) and that I need to clean my plate or somehow it was a disservice to those other kids!

Decades later we have learned that throwing away food is wasteful but overeating is even more wasteful. (aha! take that, Mom!)

EurekAlert reports on a project where researchers estimated the excess body weight of each country's population and then distributed its energy content among food groups according to national availability. They found that excess body weight "corresponds to roughly 140 billion tons of food waste globally."

For comparison, wealthy countries are estimated to throw out about 1.3 billion tons yearly.  140 billion versus 1.3 billion -- it's not even close if those numbers are close.

While these numbers all come from estimations, it seems pretty convincing that overeating is bad for your health and bad for the planet ecologically. Data from another recent report suggests that over-consumption of farmed animal products by Westerners is probably the single biggest contributor to the problem.

It breaks down like this...if you are fatter than you should be, the extra food required to make you fat is food/energy/cost/carbon/etc. that could be used to feed the world's hungry.  All the energy and process used to create the food that you overate is "wasted" since it is more than you needed to sustain yourself.  I guess that theoretical approach makes some sense.  Bottom line - waste is bad, big waist is a waste and bad too!

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