Social Question

ibstubro's avatar

Can it be true that there are more obese people in the world than there are underweight people?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) April 3rd, 2016

Is the definition of obese maybe too narrow?
Are underweight people in undeveloped countries underrepresented?

There are More Obese People in the World Than Underweight People, New Study Reveals

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33 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

There is a simple solution to that:
Kill all the fat people and feed them to the skinny ones.

Seek's avatar

BMI is a bullshit measurement.

All it does is measure the ratio of your height vs. your weight. So, it’s only accurate if you are an average male couch potato.

Do you work out? Got lots of muscles? BMI says you’re obese. Short and pear-shaped? Obese. Woman with massive tits? Obese.

I’m 5’2 and 135 lbs. BMI says I’m overweight.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a fashion model or anything, but if I’m the start of people being called disgusting and fat and unhealthy, I think the system needs recalibrated.

jca's avatar

@Seek: I did your BMI and I got 24.7, which is not overweight. This is the site I used.

The only reason I checked your BMI was because your description of your height and weight didn’t sound “disgusting and fat.”

Seek's avatar

You’re right. Since I’ve lost two pounds, I’m officially not overweight anymore. Glory be.

At 137, though, hold the presses, I was no longer “healthy”.

zenvelo's avatar

So they got a headline which reads we’re all fat and happy, but with little to offer for policy guidance.

That article does not seem terribly accurate. It mixes a lot of statistics together in trying to arrive at a conclusion.

And the strength of the statistics is not good. While some countries that are fully developed (and people are heavier) have more widespread data, underdeveloped areas where hunger is more prevalent don’t have the same level of statistics because they are too poor for those kinds of data.

What bothers me with this kind of sloppy journalism is that a policy wonk will say, “we need to cut food aid because people are overweight anyway” while children go hungry.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I agree, I’m “thin” but have some muscle mass and that consequently puts me in the “overweight” category regardless if my body fat percentage is only like 17%. BMI is nearly worthless and especially for males.

LostInParadise's avatar

@zenvelo , The article does not say how the sampling was done, so we cannot say how representative the data is. Being overweight does not necessarily mean that a person’s nutritional needs are being met. It could be a result of too many carbs and not enough protein.

BMI is not being used to determine being overweight, but obesity. The standard given for obesity is BMI over 30. For those criticizing use of BMI, does that seem reasonable?

Seek's avatar

No, because the calculations do not distinguish between muscle weight and fat weight.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well put it this way, I have never been face to face with an anerexic person.

I think it’s easier to develop a food addiction overall.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@NerdyKeith I have, several times.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Well maybe its just less common in Ireland. Not saying anorexia doesn’t occur over here. But its just not as common as obesity.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Obesity is rampant over here. 2.5 out of 3 in my local Walmart obviously morbidly obese.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yes, I’ve read many news reports regarding America’s obesity problems.

One thing I did find when I was in American a few years ago, was that when I went out to eat the portions were a lot larger than I am used to. But I was in Orlando, Florida, so not sure if this is the same nation wide in America.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@NerdyKeith I know they are huge my extended family often hosts exchange students and they universally are horrified at our portion sizes. Eating out is a big part of life here too. It’s not always something that is socially acceptable for me to refuse either.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me It seems that the eating culture in America is very similar to the drinking culture in Ireland. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a few drinks (but in moderation).

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Well we drink like a bunch of sailors here too. We have drinking genes. There are more Irish descended people here than there are in all of Ireland. I did some genetic testing a while back and there was a huge cluster of 3rd and 4th cousins in one little area there alone.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well that is true too, especially in the Boston area.

ibstubro's avatar

I tend to believe pretty much everything that @zenvelo said. That suspicion is what promped me to ask the question.

I think the large portion size here, @NerdyKeith, has a lot to do with the relatively high cost of doing business vs the relatively low cost of food.
Give them another 75¢ worth of food and you can charge another $3. An obscene percentage of our food production ends up, literally, as waste.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I just got back from America and the sizes of the drinks and PLATES in restaurants was huge I couldn’t believe it and the sauces! Everything had tons of sauce.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, it’s indecent, @trailsillustrated.
No win, unless you plan to eat, and then take home enough food for another 2–3 meals.

One of the restaurants we eat at most allows ordering off the lunch menu for dinner. Even then, most of the meals are enough for two.

Seek's avatar

I love to get a good deal. I consider one meal that can be cut in half, enjoyed, and then taken home for lunch the following day to be a pretty good deal. ^_^

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The wife and I usually will split a single meal. One place where you can still find good coupon deals is at restaurants. It’s generally cheaper for us to do that than prepare meals at home.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Is it considered really rude to request for small portions in restaurants in the United States? Just wondering.

jca's avatar

@NerdyKeith: I think in many restaurants you can ask to have them box up half, but as far as paying less for a smaller quantity, they want the full amount of money out of you and so they’ll want to charge you the full amount, no matter how much food you want.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@jca Oh I see. But if you are ok with paying the full price, they have no problem giving you a reduced portion size?

Seek's avatar

It might get on the nerves of the overworked and underpaid kitchen staff. I personally wouldn’t hassle them. It’s just as easy to box up what I didn’t want afterwards.

jca's avatar

@NerdyKeith: Like I said, some may box it up for you right off the bat. If you are willing to pay the same price, it may be easier to do it that way or just leave half and then box it up.

You mean you are willing to pay the same price and not get all the food?

NerdyKeith's avatar

@jca I suppose getting the rest of the food to go, would probably make more sense actually. Good point.

But I wouldn’t mind paying full price for a small portion of food, if the quality of the meal was very good.

jca's avatar

@NerdyKeith: Why would you not want to take the extra food home?

NerdyKeith's avatar

@NerdyKeith Well it depends on the food, some food is not recommended for reheating.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I don’t care if it’s true or not; I don’t care how much other people weigh.

jca's avatar

@NerdyKeith: I agree with you on that. Sometimes I don’t bother.

ibstubro's avatar

There are some restaurant that will allow you to order ½ orders, @NerdyKeith. Others allow you to order off the lunch menu, which is usually just smaller portions.

For instance a $17 pasta dish, you might be able to order a ½ for $9.99.
The Mexican restaurant where we eat allows us to order off the lunch menu. Chimichanga “lunch” includes only one. “dinner” you get two. I don’t honestly know the difference in price – we’re not really interested in taking food home and no one wants more than they can eat.

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