G​lobal demand for food will increase by 80% by 2100

T​he demand for food will increase by 80% by 2100 due to heavier and taller human

1y ago
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S​cientists have warned that suppliers won't be able to keep up with food demands that are predicted by 2100. This increase is due to the human race becoming heavier and taller with a rising BMI.

B​MI: the calculation with weight and height of a person which equates to Body Mass Index, is set to rise throughout the world resulting in global calorie requirements. A study from University of Göttingen has indicated that this rise in requirements could increase by 80% between 2010-2100 with 60% of this due to population growth.

IN MEXICO BMI'S HAVE RISEN SHARPLY, WHILE IN THE NETHERLANDS, AVERAGE HEIGHTS HAVE INCREASED. DUTCH MEN NOW HAVE AN AVERAGE HEIGHT OF 183CM (6FT), AN INCREASE OF 13.1CM BETWEEN 1914 AND 2014.

T​he Independent

D​octural student Lutz Depenbusch has stated; “The developments in these countries are very pronounced,” said Dr Depenbusch, “but they do represent a realistic scenario.”

“This would lead to increased consumption of cheap food, often rich in calories but poor in nutrients,” said Dr Depenbusch.

T​he effects of this would effective the poor of the world to a greater length due to the increase in prices, while the rich would mostly likely be able to maintain their lifestyles.

W​hat effects have been seen so far?

O​ver the last century men and women have both experienced an 11cm increase in height, with men now averaging at 5'10 and women 5'3.

S​urprisingly, despite Mexico having suffered from malnutrition until the 1980's, they are now second to the USA in the BMI rankings; seven out of ten being obese.

The effect of bigger human bodies on the future global calorie requirements

Existing studies show how population growth and rising incomes will cause a massive increase in the future global demand for food. We add to the literature by estimating the potential effect of increases in human weight, caused by rising BMI and height, on future calorie requirements. Instead of using a market based approach, the estimations are solely based on human energy requirements for maintenance of weight. We develop four different scenarios to show the effect of increases in human height and BMI. In a world where the weight per age-sex group would stay stable, we project calorie requirements to increases by 61.05 percent between 2010 and 2100. Increases in BMI and height could add another 18.73 percentage points to this. This additional increase amounts to more than the combined calorie requirements of India and Nigeria in 2010. These increases would particularly affect Sub-Saharan African countries, which will already face massively rising calorie requirements due to the high population growth. The stark regional differences call for policies that increase food access in currently economically weak regions. Such policies should shift consumption away from energy dense foods that promote overweight and obesity, to avoid the direct burden associated with these conditions and reduce the increases in required calories. Supplying insufficient calories would not solve the problem but cause malnutrition in populations with weak access to food. As malnutrition is not reducing but promoting rises in BMI levels, this might even aggravate the situation.

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Comments (6)

  • I’m skeptical. Simply because world population growth may stagnant, perhaps even fall mid century. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

      1 year ago
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