The average American man weighed 196 pounds in November, according to Gallup, up 3 pounds from a year earlier. The average woman actually lost 2 pounds since 2014 and weighed 155 pounds. With 322 million people in the country and accounting for the gender ratio, that works out to a total human biomass of around 56.5 billion pounds.
That's 1 percent more than the previous year and the biggest collective gain since 2011.
Based on the standard of 3,500 calories per pound, more than 2 trillion calories were added in 2015. That's enough energy to power all of New York City for 14 days.
But don't go throwing out your solar panels or disconnecting from the grid: That's just based on back-of-the envelope calculations. A number of people have disputed the 3,500 calories-per-pound ratio as a simplistic way to look at weight loss, and it probably is.
But it's an interesting way to look at a serious problem in public health and put it in a fresh context.