The Fattest and the Thinnest Nations on Earth


Fattest and skinniest photoBefore even reading the list you likely know where the U.S. falls. First of course, and it’s no surprise considering three out of four Americans are projected to be overweight or obese within 10 years. Before 1980, only one in ten Americans was overweight.  But some of the other nations may surprise you. 

The estimates were compiled by using data from around the world to figure out body mass indexes and average height distributions. This number was multiplied by the population size to figure out the total mass or biomass. The average world body mass was 137 pounds. 

The study, published in BMC Public Health shows much of the obesity epidemic can be blamed on the U.S.:

North America has 6 percent of the world population but 34 percent of biomass due to obesity. Asia has 61 percent of the world population but 13 percent of biomass due to obesity.

The Fattest Nations

1. United States

2. Kuwait

3. Croatia 

4. Qatar

5. Egypt 

The Thinnest Nations

1. North Korea

2. Cambodia 

3. Burundi

4. Nepal

5. Democratic Republic of Congo

You can read more about the fattest and skinniest nations on LiveScience.

According to the Independent, more than one tenth of the world population is obese, “The rise is being driven by increasing urbanisation, the growth of sedentary, office-based lifestyles and the substitution of Western-style fast foods for traditional diets.”

The study concluded that rising populations and rising rates of obesity spell trouble when it comes to feeding an ever growing population. Especially when you look at the other end of the spectrum, at the countries that due to political and economic strife can’t seem to feed their people. 

Weight gain photo

Photos: Thinkstock

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Read More: The Fattest and Skinniest Cities in the Nation

Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.









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