A person’s weight is deemed overweight or obese if it is above the healthy range for that person’s height. A person’s weight is influenced by a variety of things, including the foods they consume, their heredity, their environment, and their metabolism.
Obesity is connected to various health problems and illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, several cancers, and stroke.
Obesity is also the most common avoidable cause of mortality. More individuals are overweight or obese now than at any time in history, despite the severe health consequences. Obesity is now considered a global problem in almost every country.
Overweight and obesity among adults have almost quadrupled since 1975, with 13% of individuals classified as obese and 39% as overweight worldwide.
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BMI is defined as
The Body Mass Index, or BMI, is the most widely used measure for determining obesity since it takes the square of a person’s weight (in kilograms) and height (in meters). BMI scores are categorized as follows:
- BMI under 18.5 = underweight
- BMI 18.5 to <25 = healthy
- BMI 25 to <30 = overweight
- BMI 30 to <35 = obese (class 1)
- BMI 35 to <40 = obese (class 2)
- BMI 40 or higher = obese (class 3 – morbid)
BMI isn’t a great indicator of a person’s health. A false positive score may be assigned to athletes whose high BMIs are not owing to an abundance of fat but rather to an abundance of muscle.
In 2016, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson weighed 215 pounds at 5’11” and had a BMI of 30.0, which is considered obese.
Lebron James, the NBA star and health nut, was diagnosed as overweight in 2012 with a BMI of 27.5. In response to this error, many medical specialists are now using the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), which measures a person’s waist circumference to their height.
Someone is considered obese if their waist circumference is more than half their height or more than 6/10 their height in the case of someone older than fifty.
WHtR is believed to be more accurate than BMI, although it is a lot more recent development. WHtR may eventually replace BMI as the most commonly used weight health measurement.
Obesity by Country
There are huge disparities in obesity prevalence among countries because of the wide range of lifestyles and dietary practices.
Although there is no clear association between a country’s economic position and its obesity prevalence; yet, richer nations have more resources to launch programs and campaigns to increase awareness and educate people about what they’re eating.
These are some of the world’s wealthiest nations. In certain parts of the globe, obesity rates have risen at an alarming pace during the previous five years. Healthier habits and regular physical activity are being promoted by several governments, such as the one in the United States.
The World’s 10 Most Obese Countries
The Cook Islands has the highest average BMI in the world, with a BMI of 32.9. Afterward, Nauru clocks in at 32.5, followed by Niue at 32.4. The average BMI in Samoa and Tonga is 32.2.
Tuvalu (30.8), Kiribati (30.1), Saint Lucia (30.0), Micornesia (29.7), and Egypt round out the top 10 most obese nations (29.6). The fact that all eight of these nations are situated in the South Pacific is what unites them.
When the proportion of obese individuals is considered, the ranking takes on a distinct appearance. Nauru has the highest rate of obese adults in the world, with 61 percent of individuals falling into this category.
The Cook Islands come in second with 55.9% of the vote, followed by Palau with 55.3%. Only the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Niue have adult populations that are more than 50% overweight or obese (50% ).
Kiribati and Micronesia round out the top five: Tonga (48.2%), Samoa (47.3%), and Kiribati (45.8% ). St. Lucia and Egypt are the only two non-Oceania countries to cut any list of Pacific island states. Many individuals in these nations are concerned about type 2 diabetes.
Fast food, frying, genetic predispositions, and other factors have all been linked to obesity in this area, plagued by a spike in obesity rates in recent decades.
America has the world’s 12th highest obesity rate at 36.2%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates in the United States range from 23% to 38% in different states. Dietary, environmental, and cultural variables account for this global variability.
To a large extent, this may be attributed to the fact that the average American is getting conflicting information about what foods to consume and in what quantities.
Many Americans choose to eat quick, inexpensive, and filling choices such as processed packaged food, fast food, and larger amounts. At the same time, they are bombarded with commercials urging physical exercise and healthy nutrition.
This typically results in a diet high in fat, calories, and sodium (the “butter, sugar, salt” trinity) but poor in vitamins and essentials.
Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Obesity Rates
When looking at average BMI, three nations tie for the least obese country in the world, with just an average BMI of 21.1: Madagascar, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. India (21.9) and Timor-Leste (21.3) are the only nations with average BMIs below 22. (21.9). Burkina Faso (22.1) and Bangladesh (22.0) round out the top five.
Japan’s presence may not be unexpected considering the country’s healthy diet, which stresses seafood, freshness, moderate quantities, and minimum added sugar or dairy fat (as evidenced by the fact that Japanese life expectancy is among the highest on Earth).
Famine and poverty are hardly the best ways to lose weight, yet many nations on this list are in this situation. You can find a complete list of the world’s nations and their obesity rates and BMIs in the table below.
Here are the top 10 countries with the greatest obesity rates:
Also See: Most Obese Countries 2022
- Nauru (61.00%)
- Cook Islands (55.90%)
- Palau (55.30%)
- Marshall Islands (52.90%)
- Tuvalu (51.60%)
- Niue (50.00%)
- Tonga (48.20%)
- Samoa (47.30%)
- Kiribati (46.00%)
- Micronesia (45.80%)
|Country||% of Obese Adults||2022 Population|
|United Arab Emirates||31.7000||10081.7850|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||24.1000||111.5510|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||22.9000||53.8710|
|Papua New Guinea||21.3000||9292.1690|
|Antigua and Barbuda||18.9000||99.5090|
|Trinidad and Tobago||18.6000||1406.5850|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||17.9000||3249.3170|
|Sao Tome and Principe||12.4000||227.6790|
|Republic of the Congo||9.6000||5797.8050|
|Central African Republic||7.5000||5016.6780|