Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said that tackling population weight is crucial for food security and ecological sustainability.
The United Nations (UN) predicts that by 2050 there could be a further 2.3billion people on the planet and the dire implications of the rising population will be made worse by extra fat, researchers said.
Increasing body mass means higher energy requirements, because it takes more energy to move a heavy body. Even at rest a fatter body burns more energy.
The world’s adult population weighs 287million tonnes, 15million of which is due to being overweight and 3.5million is due to obesity, according to the study.