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10 fattest countries in the world

Posted Jan 01 2010 4:31am

fattest-countries-in-the-world

Okay, if I was a betting woman, I would have only been able to guess two countries out of ten on this list of the fattest countries in the world based on the Top 10 Fattest Countries in the world, based on national health surveys the World Health Organization (WHO) compiled between 2000 and 2008.

Seriously some of the countries listed just shocked the heck out of me because I never would have EVER thought they had an issue with obesity. It’s obvious from these countries that the problems of obesity has gained global proportions and there are a lot of countries who will find themselves burdened by the costly weight of health related issues due to obesity.

Before I delve into this, I’ll also add that the U.S. is not at the top of the list of the fattest countries in the world. Here’s another thing that jumped at me: based on the list, I’d be intrigued to know how The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) would react if he saw his maternal nation tops the list of fattest countries in the world. Johnson is half black Canadian on his father’s side and half Samoan on his mother’s side (once you read the complete list of the fattest countries in the world you’ll understand).

Oh, I should actually reveal which countries I guessed correctly: the U.S. and the U.K., and for the rest, I was stumped. I was not entirely shocked to see Germany on the list, but I’ll tell you that I never expected to see New Zealand.

>>> Here’s the list of the fattest countries in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

1. American Samoa, 93.5 per cent (of population that’s overweight)

Traditionally, Pacific Islanders ate native foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. That began to change dietary habits as family members abroad introduced those back home to Western eating.

Krizia’s take: I was floored when I read that almost 100% of the population in Samoa was overweight. I mean, it’s incredible how countries are affected by the American diet. You’ll see this as a recurring theme among the other countries on this list!

2. Kiribati (in the Pacific Ocean), 81.5 per cent

Between 1964 and 2001, food imports to the least developed Pacific nations, such as Kiribati, increased six-fold. Those imports led to a huge influx in fatty food and processed meat, such as Spam and mutton flaps (fatty sheep scraps).

3. U.S., 66.7 per cent

In the early 1960s, 24 per cent of Americans were overweight. Today, two-thirds of Americans are too fat, and the numbers on the scale keep going up. Health experts attribute the rise to an over-production of oil, fat and sugar — the result of government farm subsidies started in the 1970s that made it much cheaper to manufacture products like high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in processed foods.

Krizia’s take: I guess Americans aren’t as fat as we thought they were given that 93% of Samoans are obese!

4. Germany, 66.5 per cent

When Germany found out that it was the fattest nation in Europe, health experts blamed the usual suspects: beer, fatty foods and lack of physical activity. Like the rest of the world, Germans are suffering from an easy availability of junk food and more sedentary jobs and lifestyles.

5. Egypt, 66 per cent

In the 1960s, Egypt produced enough food to feed its people a steady diet of red meat, poultry, lentils, maize and dairy products. But by the 1980s, the population had outgrown food production, leading to an increase in food imports that created poorer eating habits.

Krizia’s take: Here’s another country that really surprised me a lot. I always thought that Egyptian lived off a Middle Eastern diet, which is usually known to be quite healthy.

6. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 per cent

Smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995. Those living just above the poverty line are gaining weight the fastest, partly because of the tendency to fill up on cheap processed foods high in calories and low on nutritional value.

7. New Zealand, 62.7 per cent

Researchers found that how much time New Zealand children spend watching television is a better predictor of obesity than what they eat or how much they exercise. The study found that 41 percent of the children who were overweight by age 26 were those who had watched the most TV.

8. Israel, 61.9 per cent

In the past 30 years, the number of obese Israelis has tripled. As in most developed countries, obesity is most prevalent among Israelis with less education.

9. Croatia, 61.4 per cent

Croatia is a victim of the globalization of the food market, which tends to suppress traditional diets as cheaper processed foods from the U.S. and Europe flood store shelves.

10. United Kingdom, 61 per cent

A recent survey ranked the British among the bottom third of European nations in physical exercise, leading Health Secretary Andy Burnham to comment, “We’re really in danger of being known as the best in the world for watching sport, but one of the worst for getting out there and doing it for ourselves.”

>>> The planet is getting fatter!

fattest-countries-in-the-world-2

* The bottom line is this: once a country introduces its population the American diet that is high in fat, sugar and salt that population balloons to dangerous proportions.

* We, as humans, are getting increasingly sedentary and that means we’re eating a lot and not burning off the calories because our jobs keeps sitting most of the day and then we’ll hoop into a car and drive home where we’ll have a fatty meal comfortably sitting on a sofa flipping through the 500 channels that are now available.

* When you look at the list of 10 fattest countries in the world, you can quickly see that the problem is the same and therefore the solution is also the same: healthy eating, getting sufficient exercise and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

>>> Stats about being fat:

If I’ve not yet convinced you with all my articles on healthy eating, allow me to share these stats from Dr. Mercola with you:

* People who are moderately obese live two to five years less than people that have ideal weight.

* The lifespan of those who are severely obese might be reduced by five to 10 years.

* The biggest threat of obesity is heart disease.

>>> Are you as surprised as I am to see some of the countries that made it on the list? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo by emilio labrador

Photo of planet earth by kevindooley

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