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Hank gives us a summary of a strange new calculation, which estimates the total body mass of all the humans on earth.

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References:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpublichealth/
http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2012-06/bc-two061512.php
https://apps.who.int/infobase/Publicfiles/SuRF2.pdf
Hello, and welcome back to SciShow Breaking News, where today, I want to share with you an unusual calculation that's just been made, the first comprehensive estimate of humanity's total body mass.

Using country-by-country body mass statistics collected by the World Health Organization, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that the total adult human population of Earth weighs about 287 million metric tons.

Honestly, I... I would have thought that it would be more; 287 million tons is about half the total estimated biomass of the world's cattle, for instance. And the estimate for ants' combined mass approaches a trillion tons.

But, when you break the human mass data down by continent and country, that's when things start to get a little ugly. And pretty interesting.The world's average adult body mass came to 62 kilograms. The continent with the highest average mass - you guessed it - was North America, with an average of 80.7 kilograms per person.

What's more, the study estimated that if all the countries of the world had the same average mass as the United States, the extra body mass would be like adding 935 million people to the world's population. That's like a billion people worth of love handles and pot bellies.

But in addition to making all of us Hot Pocket-loving Americans feel pretty bad about ourselves, the study makes some compelling observations. The researchers said they came up with this estimate because the future of public health, not to mention our food and water supply, will be determined as much by the size of the individuals, as by the size of the total population.

After all, the energy requirements of a species depends on its total mass, not just its head count, and in order to address the impact we're having on the environment, we have to start measuring what one researcher called "population fatness", as well as population growth.

The study was just published in the journal BMC Public Health, you can read it below. In the meantime, happy summer solstice, which officially happens this evening, at least in the US, we'll see you on Friday with more SciShow News.