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10 fattest countries in the world: Obesity Statistics

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*** These obesity statistics are quite surprising in many cases***

Okay, if I was a betting woman, I would have only been able to guess two countries out of ten on this list of the fattest countries in the world based on the Top 10 Fattest Countries in the world, based on national health surveys the World Health Organization (WHO) compiled between 2000 and 2008.

Seriously some of the countries listed just shocked the heck out of me because I never would have EVER thought they had an issue with obesity. It’s obvious from these countries that the problems of obesity has gained global proportions and there are a lot of countries who will find themselves burdened by the costly weight of health related issues due to obesity.

Before I delve into this, I’ll also add that the U.S. is not at the top of the list of the fattest countries in the world. Here’s another thing that jumped at me: based on the list, I’d be intrigued to know how The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) would react if he saw his maternal nation tops the list of fattest countries in the world. Johnson is half black Canadian on his father’s side and half Samoan on his mother’s side (once you read the complete list of the fattest countries in the world you’ll understand).

Oh, I should actually reveal which countries I guessed correctly: the U.S. and the U.K., and for the rest, I was stumped. I was not entirely shocked to see Germany on the list, but I’ll tell you that I never expected to see New Zealand.

>>> Here’s the list of the fattest countries in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

1. American Samoa, 93.5 per cent (of population that’s overweight)

Traditionally, Pacific Islanders ate native foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. That began to change dietary habits as family members abroad introduced those back home to Western eating.

Krizia’s take: I was floored when I read that almost 100% of the population in Samoa was overweight. I mean, it’s incredible how countries are affected by the American diet. You’ll see this as a recurring theme among the other countries on this list!

2. Kiribati (in the Pacific Ocean), 81.5 per cent

Between 1964 and 2001, food imports to the least developed Pacific nations, such as Kiribati, increased six-fold. Those imports led to a huge influx in fatty food and processed meat, such as Spam and mutton flaps (fatty sheep scraps).

3. U.S., 66.7 per cent

In the early 1960s, 24 per cent of Americans were overweight. Today, two-thirds of Americans are too fat, and the numbers on the scale keep going up. Health experts attribute the rise to an over-production of oil, fat and sugar — the result of government farm subsidies started in the 1970s that made it much cheaper to manufacture products like high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in processed foods.

Krizia’s take: I guess Americans aren’t as fat as we thought they were given that 93% of Samoans are obese!

4. Germany, 66.5 per cent

When Germany found out that it was the fattest nation in Europe, health experts blamed the usual suspects: beer, fatty foods and lack of physical activity. Like the rest of the world, Germans are suffering from an easy availability of junk food and more sedentary jobs and lifestyles.

5. Egypt, 66 per cent

In the 1960s, Egypt produced enough food to feed its people a steady diet of red meat, poultry, lentils, maize and dairy products. But by the 1980s, the population had outgrown food production, leading to an increase in food imports that created poorer eating habits.

Krizia’s take: Here’s another country that really surprised me a lot. I always thought that Egyptian lived off a Middle Eastern diet, which is usually known to be quite healthy.

6. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 per cent

Smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995. Those living just above the poverty line are gaining weight the fastest, partly because of the tendency to fill up on cheap processed foods high in calories and low on nutritional value.

7. New Zealand, 62.7 per cent

Researchers found that how much time New Zealand children spend watching television is a better predictor of obesity than what they eat or how much they exercise. The study found that 41 percent of the children who were overweight by age 26 were those who had watched the most TV.

8. Israel, 61.9 per cent

In the past 30 years, the number of obese Israelis has tripled. As in most developed countries, obesity is most prevalent among Israelis with less education.

9. Croatia, 61.4 per cent

Croatia is a victim of the globalization of the food market, which tends to suppress traditional diets as cheaper processed foods from the U.S. and Europe flood store shelves.

10. United Kingdom, 61 per cent

A recent survey ranked the British among the bottom third of European nations in physical exercise, leading Health Secretary Andy Burnham to comment, “We’re really in danger of being known as the best in the world for watching sport, but one of the worst for getting out there and doing it for ourselves.”

>>> The planet is getting fatter!


* The bottom line is this: once a country introduces its population the American diet that is high in fat, sugar and salt that population balloons to dangerous proportions.

* We, as humans, are getting increasingly sedentary and that means we’re eating a lot and not burning off the calories because our jobs keeps sitting most of the day and then we’ll hoop into a car and drive home where we’ll have a fatty meal comfortably sitting on a sofa flipping through the 500 channels that are now available.

* When you look at the list of 10 fattest countries in the world, you can quickly see that the problem is the same and therefore the solution is also the same: healthy eating, getting sufficient exercise and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

>>> Stats about being fat:

If I’ve not yet convinced you with all my articles on healthy eating, allow me to share these stats from Dr. Mercola with you:

* People who are moderately obese live two to five years less than people that have ideal weight.

* The lifespan of those who are severely obese might be reduced by five to 10 years.

* The biggest threat of obesity is heart disease.

>>> Are you as surprised as I am to see some of the countries that made it on the list? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo by emilio labrador

Photo of planet earth by kevindooley

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9 Responses to “10 fattest countries in the world: Obesity Statistics”

  1. Rhealyn Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 9:13

    Samoa is a country that has always been larger. That is just their culture, not just American influence

  2. dani Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 20:08

    actually american samoa isn’t a country it is an unincorporated territory of the united states (whith approx 60.000 habitants)

  3. Eat Smart Age Smart Says:
    May 17th, 2010 at 22:19

    Hi Dani,

    Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the correction. I wasn’t aware.
    .-= Eat Smart Age Smart´s last blog ..Sesame Bok Choy vegetarian recipe =-.

  4. Angella Says:
    May 27th, 2010 at 19:35

    Whether its a country or not is irrelevant.These are peoples lives we are talking about.People that are numbed by the foods and lifestyle they are exposed to.What seems to have been happening is a sense of being lulled silently over a period of time to a point where people actually forget what is the best foods to eat and how they should be living an active lifestyle. Time seems to have erased previously known and practiced “good lifestyle”. Generations are now passing onto their offspring a new unhealthy way of living. Living freely, actively and healthily is our right. It is the way we can have an optimum life experience and interactions with one another.It’s little wonder that without it we will be plagued with obesity, depression, alienation, violence, rage, anxiety and disease.

  5. Eat Smart Age Smart Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 23:15


    Thanks for your opinion, you bring good points and I do agree with you when you say that people are medicating with food.
    .-= Eat Smart Age Smart´s last blog ..The New Moosewood Cookbook Mollie Katzens Classic Cooking =-.

  6. facts Says:
    June 15th, 2010 at 18:42

    You do realize that they measure based on bmi. So, this means that regardless of how healthy the individual may be, anything over a BMI of 25 is “fat”. Many people like myself are over 25 just slighty and have a slim and healthy figure (I’m an athlete, very solid and fit). Kinda sad, huh? Also, being fat doesn’t mean obese. Obese is over 30 and that is also included but statistics wise, most americans are “slightly overweight” – thats the logical way to say it. The average american is literally 5-15 pounds overweight and here’s some “fat facts” for you guys:

    overweight people live the longest. go ahead, thrill yourself and google it.

    so yeah, get your facts straight before posting inaccurate material.

    That’s all I wanted to say.

  7. Eat Smart Age Smart Says:
    June 23rd, 2010 at 9:34


    Thanks for dropping by and adding to the conversation on one of the most read posts on this site.

    Interesting, but according to my facts and a number of Dr. Oz’s series, being slimmer will help you live longer!

    If you are fit and an athlete you may simply not be part of the groups that are discussed above and that’s a good thing for you my friend!
    .-= Eat Smart Age Smart´s last blog ..The Self Healing Cookbook Whole Foods To Balance Body Mind and Moods =-.

  8. JC Says:
    September 18th, 2010 at 23:08

    Hey there. I’m trying to stay abreast of the obesity epidemic in America. I did two posts: one in January of this year (which received the most hits ever and my blog was less than two weeks old then), and I did a follow-up in June. I have it categorized under: FATTEST STATES.

    Those of us that are in the health, fitness, and wellness professions must continue to stress the importance of proper nutrition (not fads) and exercise. I saw a similar post like yours on another site that had some of the same pictures.

    Not surprised that the US is in the top five (#3). Thanks again for another eye-opening post!
    .-= JC´s last blog ..Foam roller exercises =-.


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