And the gold medal for country with the greatest biomass goes to…

the olympic biomass medalsThe world has gathered in London to find out who can jump the furthest, run the fastest etc. and ultimately which nation is the greatest.

One medal which is not up for grabs, is which nation has the highest collective biomass i.e. which nation is the biggest.

At first glance, the country with the highest collective biomass, should be the country with the most bodies. But bodies come in different sizes, so the calculation is not quite so straightforward.

Lining up the competitors

Using data from the United Nations and World Health Organization, a team of researchers set about awarding this medal. Compiling this kind of data takes quite a bit of time and effort, so this study is based on what was happening in the world in 2005.

They crunched the numbers to discover that the average global citizen in 2005 weighed in at around 62 kg.

So how do you fit in ? Are you average ?

If you’re thinking these people are smoking something – 62 kg is tantamount to being emaciated. Well it is a statistic that includes the starving millions, as well as the overweight and obese millions.

And the gold medal goes to…

After analyzing the vital stats from 190 countries, the 2005 gold medal was awarded to the citizens of the USA.

Curious who took the silver and the bronze ? I’ll let you peak at the top ten, it might surprise you…

  1. US
  2. Kuwait
  3. Croatia
  4. Qatar
  5. Egypt
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. Trinidad and Tobago
  8. Argentina
  9. Greece
  10. Bahrain.

NOTE : It will be some time before all the data is gathered to assess who would win the medal now. I’m guessing there might be quite a few changes to the list.

So does biomass matter ?

Seven billion people on the planet and counting……. that means seven billion mouths to feed.

The 7 billion figure is making an assumption- all mouths need the same amount of food, but they don’t, all mouths are not created equal and in the end, this alters the energy calculations.

Exactly how much energy i.e. food, you need, to keep you going depends…

All things being equal, bigger bodies need more calories.

Big calories behind the big

The idea that big bodies need more calories is easy to grasp when we look in the animal kingdom. A mouse needs to eat a lot less, than an elephant.

The same principle actually applies to humans – small people don’t only need less caffeine to generate buzzing, they also need less calories to keep them going.

So big people need more food than smaller people. It’s not greed, it is a genuine need – they need more food to keep themselves powered up.

We’re not feeding 7 billion…

The fact that how much food you need, is proportional to your size has some interesting, perhaps disturbing ramifications…

  • It means, current estimates of how many mouths the world needs to feed are inaccurate. Effectively we’re already way over 7 billion.
  • It also means, that as the obesity epidemic spreads around the globe, the effective human population is multiplying faster than we think. And lets be honest, it is already expanding at an alarming rate.

Feeding the future world is already a tall order…

Feeding a population that on average weighs more than 62 kg, is going to be even tougher.

Save the planet lose the weight

The greenie beanies are encouraging us to do our bit to SAVE THE PLANET. Maybe it is time to add, reduce that waist line, to your green habits.

The less there is of you, the less stress you’ll be putting on the planet and your pocket.

The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass. BMC Public Health, (2012) 12:439.  Sarah C Walpole, David Prieto-Merino, Phil Edwards, John Cleland, Gretchen Stevens and Ian Roberts.

Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind all that biomass  ?

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Further reading

high fat soccer player beats out low fat player muscle replenishing glycogen nootropic medicine cabinet
Use peanuts to power gold medal sports performances Caffeine the recipe for muscle “achievement” ? How to win a medal for brain performance

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 23 July – 27 July on July 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    [...] And the gold medal for country with the greatest biomass goes to… Big Spoons [...]

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