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Mar 6, 2023

The Skinny on Fatties: We’re Increasing Our Numbers

World domination by 2035!

By Ed Goldman

More than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 without significant action,” according to a Friday story issued by Reuters, the British news service.

CNN also weighed in, so to speak, reporting, “The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 atlas predicts that 51 percent of the world, or more than four billion people, will be obese or overweight” within the next 12 years.

Edgy Cartoon

The weight is over


  1. If Brits are supposedly so smart, why do they pronounce “Reuters” as “Roiters?” I think most of us would even accept “Rooters.”
  2. If you’re not currently obese, have you made plans to become obese in the next 12 years? Don’t you feel we should all be doing our part to help minimize this report’s margin of error? 
  3. Do you think it would have been funnier if I’d written “to help reducethis report’s margin of error?”
  1. Are they currently hiring at The World Obesity Federation? And if so, is there a weight requirement? Does one submit a résumé or one’s daily diet plan? If the latter is preferred, is there a recommended calorie or carb minimum?
  2. Why does the World Obesity Federation publish an “atlas” instead of an annual report? Are its charts and graphics all in horizontal formats? Do its readers insist that all written materials resemble tablecloths? 
  3. What’s the difference between “overweight” and “obese?” And is that measured in pounds or adjusted body mass indexes? 
  4. Should I have used the word “indices” instead of “indexes?”  If you still use a Rolodex and have more than one, do you call them Rolidices?” And doesn’t that word look like something a croupier would demand you do at a craps table? And doesn’t the term “craps table” conjure up rather gross imagery?
  1. Do you think it would be prudent for the World Obese Federation to hold stakeholder meetings on its headquarters’ first floor, just to be on the safe side?
  2. Is there a positive spin that can be put on the fact that 51 percent of the world will be obese by 2035? Here’s one suggestion: “Federation predicts that 49 percent of the world will be in marvelous shape by 2035.”
  3. Let’s re-examine how CNN reported the statistic that sparked this discussion: 

“The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 atlas predicts that 51 percent of the world, or more than four billion people, will be obese or overweight” within the next 12 years. 

So which is it—”51 percent of the world” or “more than four billion people?” As you know, the world consists of much more than people. There are also flora, fauna and, as the U.S. Geological Survey is quick to assure us, “About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water.” Climatologists tell us our oceans are shrinking, not getting obese. A little clarity, please!

  1. In paragraph 2, above, I wrote that CNN had “weighed in” on the subject. Do you think my use of that phrase qualifies as body shaming? Is it possible to body-shame an entire cable network when all of its anchors appear to be trim? And since a person or entity can “weigh in” on a subject is it any wonder we have expressions liked “chewing the fat,” which simply means to chat? And is “chat” an abbreviation of “chewing the fat?” 

Bear in mind that in England, they call a chat “chewing the rags.” Or so says Rooters.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).