We'll chalk this up as a victory for free markets, capitalism and globalisation then

The Lancet tells us, in shocked and disapproving tones, that there are now more fatty lardbuckets on the planet than there are undernourished people. We simply cannot bring ourselves to think of this as being a bad thing. Rather, we consider it to be a massive victory for the economic policies of the last few decades. A victory for capitalism, free markets and globalisation.

There are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight, a major study has suggested.

The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and published in The Lancet, compared body mass index (BMI) among almost 20 million adult men and women from 1975 to 2014.

It found obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women.

Lead author Prof Majid Ezzat said it was an "epidemic of severe obesity" and urged governments to act.

It's possible that action is required or even desired. But first we should have a little pause for celebration, a few turns of that victory dance. As the paper itself says:

Implications of all the available evidence

The world has transitioned from an era when underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight.

So what, actually, has happened? Well, the essential heart of it is that we all started buying stuff made by poor people in poor countries. This made them richer and led to the solution to what PJ O'Rourke has called the species-long human problem: what's for lunch? Closely followed by that other rather already solved one, how do I not be lunch? 

That history of our species has been the struggle to try and work out how to gain enough calories to see the next day: as it actually is for all other species. We're the one that has worked out farming, economy, trade, to solve it. And we're here in this happy day when it is actually all coming to fruition.

Consider what is the complaint. Instead of people dropping dead of starvation next week we're now facing the idea that people might drop dead in a few decades or more from an excess of food availability. That second, in and of itself, may not be all that desirable an outcome. But compared to what went before we do indeed insist that this is a vast, joyous, victory.

So, happy dance! With, of course, lashings of ginger beer, burgers, milkshakes, fries, donuts, ice creams and syrup covered waffles to sate the appetites so created.