The fattest countries in the world revealed on an interactive map

The fattest countries in the world have been revealed on a new interactive map.

The map, published by Our World in Data, uses data compiled from figures from 195 countries around the world and shows the huge gap in obesity rates.

The figures come from the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, which recorded global trends between 1975 and 2016 of 128.9 million people.

The statistics were based on body mass index (BMI) – specifically, people who were underweight, overweight or obese.

A person is considered overweight if their BMI – which is determined by a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared – is equal to or greater than 25. A BMI of 30 or more constitutes obesity. A “healthy” BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the CDC.

The map revealed that 39% of the world’s adults were overweight or obese – and 68% of Americans fell into these categories.

It also showed that no country saw a decline in obesity rates between 1975 and 2016.

Globally, 13% of adults aged 18 and over were recorded as obese in 2016.


Share of overweight or obese adults, 2016
The map uses data compiled from figures from 195 countries around the world.
WHO, Global Health Observatory

The 10 fattest countries in the world were in the Pacific, with the remote island of Nauru taking the top spot.

Almost nine out of 10 people in Nauru are overweight, according to the data.

The island of Palau comes second with 85.1% of the population being overweight or obese, followed by the Cook Islands (84.7%), the Marshall Islands (83.5%) and Tuvalu (81.9%). ).

The United States was ranked the 15th fattest nation and Britain 30.

On the other hand, Vietnam is ranked as the leanest country – with only 18.3% of Southeast Asians considered overweight or obese.


Participants of a walk against diabetes and for general fitness around Nauru airport.  Photo by Lorrie Graham.
The 10 fattest countries in the world were in the Pacific, with the remote island of Nauru taking the top spot.
Lorrie Graham/AusAID

Top 10 more overweight countries in the world are:

  1. Nauru- 88.5%
  2. Palau – 85.1%
  3. Cook Islands – 84.7%
  4. Marshall Islands – 83.5%
  5. Tuvalu- 81.9%
  6. Niue – 80%
  7. Kiribati – 78.7%
  8. Tonga – 78.5%
  9. Samoa – 77.6%
  10. Micronesia – 75.9%

Top 10 less overweight countries in the world are:

  1. Vietnam – 18.3%
  2. India – 19.7%
  3. Bangladesh – 20%
  4. Ethiopia – 20.9%
  5. Nepal – 21%
  6. Timorese – 21.6%
  7. Cambodia – 21.7%
  8. Eritrea – 22%
  9. Nigeria- 22%
  10. Burundi- 22.2%

People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of many health problems, including death, stroke, cancer and high blood pressure, according to the CDC.

A recent study also suggested that obesity should be classified as a brain developmental disorder rather than a behavioral disease.

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