The Most Obese Populations in the World. Net Weight – Gross Worth!

April 18, 2024
2 mins read

The recent death of Mexican Andres Moreno, apparently the world’s heaviest man at 444kgs, has again sparked the discussion on obesity, fast becoming a major health problem around the world, and not necessarily in countries which you might think of first! After all, to become obese the general consensus is that a person needs to eat a lot and exercise a little, suggesting that countries where people have high disposable incomes are more likely to have a higher percentage of obesity among the population. Of course, genetic, environmental and other factors can also have an effect on a person’s BMI, however, the World Health Organisation survey clearly indicates that a relatively sudden increase in wealth can result in laziness and hence obesity, not the lack of healthy foodstuffs.

An individual is defined as obese if his or her Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30; BMI is calculated by dividing body weight in kilograms by height in metres, squared – eg 80kgs/(1.75m x 1.75m) = 26.14. According to health authorities, the ideal BMI is within the range 18.5 – 24.9: Morenos’ BMI was a mind-boggling 153.

The following points are significant: The WHO survey as of mid-2015, does not differentiate between men and women. Perhaps unsurprisingly, only one country in the top 25 for Quality of Life features in the ‘fattest’ list – the USA at number 19, but the suspicion is that many more of that country’s population fall into the 25-30 BMI band. Europe is not represented at all, nor is South America, and only one African country.

obesity66Three regions of the world account for 24 of the ‘top’ 25 most obese countries – the exception being the USA – The Caribbean, the Middle East including the Persian Gulf, and the South Pacific, with the seven worst cases being in the latter area. It is quite possible that climatic factors, ie heat and/or humidity, encourage a more sedentary lifestyle, but they could also suggest that over-eating should lead to a feeling of being uncomfortable, and be less of a problem: apparently not!

Two important points are common to many of these countries – a relatively recent influx or availability of western-style eating habits, ie ‘fast-food’, which has apparently proven popular with locals. Also, fast-food is very often cheaper than healthy alternatives, imitating western culture is often seen as a status symbol, ‘cool’.

Many of the countries with the highest obesity levels have relatively small populations.

Following is a list of the world’s 25 most obese nations, with the percentage of the population recording a BMI of over 30, plus relevant comments not previously mentioned:

world's 25 most obese nations

#Countrypercentage of populationComment
24Antigua and Barbuda31%
23Trinidad and Tobago31.1%
22Barbados31.3$highest rate of obesity-related cancer
21Lebanon31.9low levels of education, information
20Libya33.1%low levels of fruit and vegetables eaten
19USA33.7%fast-food portions increasing in size
18Saudi Arabia34.7%
17Bahrain35.1%authorities have opened clinics to cope with the problem
16Vanuatu35.5%importation of processed foods
14Fiji36.4%mixed ethnicity keeps the rate lower than S Pacific neighbours
12United Arab Emirates37.3%19% suffer from diabetes; increasing wealth leads to laziness
11Kuwait39.7%one of the richest countries in the world
10Tuvalu40.3%metabolism has apparently learned to ‘save’ for times of famine
9Kiribati40.6%processed foods replacing healthy alternatives
7Marshall Islands42.8%also diabetes sufferers
6Niue43.2%poor health care, advice
5Tonga43.3%cheap meat imports, huge appetites
4Samoa43.4%cheap meat imports now banned
3Nauru45.6%cash from resource sale; fried chicken and coke is most popular
2Palau47.6%fried food replacing fresh food
1Cook Islands50.8%fried fish has replaced raw fish

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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