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


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


# Country percentage of population Comment
25 Oman 30.9%
24 Antigua and Barbuda 31%
23 Trinidad and Tobago 31.1%
22 Barbados 31.3$ highest rate of obesity-related cancer
21 Lebanon 31.9 low levels of education, information
20 Libya 33.1% low levels of fruit and vegetables eaten
19 USA 33.7% fast-food portions increasing in size
18 Saudi Arabia 34.7%
17 Bahrain 35.1% authorities have opened clinics to cope with the problem
16 Vanuatu 35.5% importation of processed foods
15 Bahamas 36.2%
14 Fiji 36.4% mixed ethnicity keeps the rate lower than S Pacific neighbours
13 Micronesia 37.2%
12 United Arab Emirates 37.3% 19% suffer from diabetes; increasing wealth leads to laziness
11 Kuwait 39.7% one of the richest countries in the world
10 Tuvalu 40.3% metabolism has apparently learned to ‘save’ for times of famine
9 Kiribati 40.6% processed foods replacing healthy alternatives
8 Qatar 42.3%
7 Marshall Islands 42.8% also diabetes sufferers
6 Niue 43.2% poor health care, advice
5 Tonga 43.3% cheap meat imports, huge appetites
4 Samoa 43.4% cheap meat imports now banned
3 Nauru 45.6% cash from resource sale; fried chicken and coke is most popular
2 Palau 47.6% fried food replacing fresh food
1 Cook Islands 50.8% fried fish has replaced raw fish
Daniel Wanburg
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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