Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

The World’s Top 10 Fattest Countries


The World Health Organization has recently released the results of health surveys taken between 2000 and 2008 on world obesity, and the news isn’t pretty.

Since obesity rates can be an indicator of a nation’s nutritional trends, health and culture, we thought it might be useful information for the expat to know. Here are the 10 fattest countries of the last decade:

(1) American Samoa, 93.5% (of the population that is overweight)

It’s a staggering number. Many Pacific Island nations have had trouble with weight in modern times mostly because they have abandoned their traditional foods for cheap, easily attained processed foods from the West. Perhaps no other Pacific Island has had such access to these habits as American Samoa.

(2) Kiribati, 81.5%

Like American Samoa, Kiribati has been flooded with processed foods like Spam and mutton flaps (fatty sheep scraps), often sold at lower prices than native food.

(3) U.S.A., 66.7%

Well, the U.S.A. doesn’t top the list, but it’s close, and it falls behind only a small islands nation and one of its own unincorporated territories. The United States of Processed food, high fructose corn syrup and fast food has been high on this list over the last half century.

(4) Germany, 66.5%

The fattest country in Europe no doubt owes their portly woes to lots of beer, fatty foods and inactivity.

(5) Egypt, 66%

Obesity among Egyptian women is particularly high, often attributed to cultural taboos on women exercising or playing sports.

(6) Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9%

Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, obesity is dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina, where smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995.

(7) New Zealand, 62.7%

Obesity is a growing concern for New Zealand. While its native Maori have struggled with weight due to loss of traditional culture like other Pacific Islanders– they are mostly just a scapegoat. New Zealand’s entire population is getting fatter at a rapidly increased rate.

(8) Israel, 61.9%

In the past 30 years, the number of obese Israelis has tripled, evidence the country is truly part of the Western world.

(9) Croatia, 61.4%

Croatia, where cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, is also 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%

A recent survey ranked Brits 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.”


Source: Global Post


167 thoughts on “The World’s Top 10 Fattest Countries

  1. Ironically, NZ’s immigration policy has a problem with obese people. I guess they’ve learned the strain of overweight people on their healthcare and economy first hand.

    So their best way to at least not be subject to making it substantially worse is to block foreign fatties since they can’t rightly kick out the local fatties.

  2. I’m surprised America isn’t number 1, but I guess people just hate on America for just about everything. I hear people from the United Kingdom say how fat Americans are and they are 61% which is roughly 5.5 points lower than us.


  3. It is pretty true that there are alot of fatass Americans. I, myself, being an American have to say that there are fat people worldwide so keep that in mind. Your mind full of stereotypical images of Americans. We have alot of fast food, our economy is going to shit, and were all stressed and depressed, prescribed to a cocktail of medications so we can be “productive members of society”. I think if we had to be put on anything I would say we are probably the unhealthiest country but not the fattest. I am a Californian and I am skinny. I just work it off on the beach! Oh wait, I dont live on a f**king beach! Just one more stereotype for you to get outta your head. Alright well chew on that, it has no calories I promise, and I will go chew on a supersized deep fried stick of lard.

  4. 66.7% Fatassesss, thats over 2 in every 3 people are fatassed in the USA, nothing to be proud of. Why isn’t USA number 1, because the USA and NZ offload their full of fat cheap food to countries like Samoa and Kiribati, as well as places like Mexico, who also have a obesity problem, the mexicans send over their immigrants the yanks send back their Mcdonalds, personally I think the yanks do better out of this deal than they think.

  5. Bad stats at play here. Even though there are far too many obese people in the US and elsewhere-I am actually considered overweight with a BMI of 25.Im 6’2″ and 200 lbs and look great-and as skinny as a rail.

  6. Actually Australia has been proven as the fattest so you need to use valid information

  7. Ö.Ö
    we’re second fattest country in europe… whatever, ba. I keep eating cevapcici and Burek ;D

  8. Oh no, USA only came out #3 – they didn’t win! It’s OK guys: wait for the results to come out for the world rankings in arrogance and stupidity – I’m sure you’ll come out on top there.

    Yet ANOTHER way that Canada’s superior to its neighbour to add it to my list.

  9. Perhaps we should stop fighting about which country is the best and worry about an obviously major, worldwide epidemic of obesity?

    It’s quite silly to sit around your keyboard and talk about how much better you or where you live is than another person of country. Every place has its good and bad and is all really about personal preference. I live in the US and I like it but I obviously know there are places I’d rather be….. Much love to the world! (no-hippie)

  10. I do not agree here with Germany I used to work there and people do lots of sport. It is true that you see fat people on the streets but there are more fat people in UK than in Germany thats for sure. USA should be on the top of this list.

  11. People who are saying how close the uk percentage is to the USA should take into account on the population… Meaning that the USA have millions more… Still horrendous stats for uk though

  12. I lived in West Los Angeles, and there are zero fat people there. Everyone works out, everyone eats healthy, and everyone does their best to look good. Same with San Francisco, NYC, and basically any major city. As for “middle America”, I can’t speak for them b/c I haven’t spent much time there.

    Now, I currently live in the UK, and I have to be honest… Anywhere outside London, the women are pushing on average 200 pounds, no joke. Half the time I walk in a restaurant, I can’t eat the rest of my meal because I am so disgusted with the people here.

  13. hi this is a big thing that the world needs to do something about because i do not want to see in years to come it all over the street.

  14. While it in percents does not seem like a big deal, imagine how many more people there are in country X than country Y. Now that is a somewhat shocking amount!

  15. Sports and weightlifting make you toned, but eating is what controls your weight. The problem is Americans eat crap all day and they don’t even realize that what they are eating isn’t healthy. We need to go back to the days of gourmet, fresh, and non-processed foods like many other countries. We also have to realize that you shouldn’t stuff yourself full at every meal. Many European countries, such as France and Holland, are not full of obesity because they have smaller portions. Even the big macs there are smaller. America needs smaller portions for those who want to lose weight.

  16. I live in Oregon, and the local Round Table Pizza in my area hires a *severely* obese man (we’re talking 500 lbs) in a wheelchair to sit out on the corner and hold a sign advertising their pizza. I just don’t understand it. Do they think that makes you want to eat pizza? It only makes me want to eat a salad. It seems like I’m seeing more and more wheelchair bound obese people every day. It sucks being fat, but once you get too fat to walk around, losing weight is probably nearly impossible.

    if you believed them then u r a noob and know nothing.
    i haven’t even seen anyone fat at my school, they are all majorly skinny, NOT FAT!
    stupid Americans not knowing their facts and trying to make them feel better.
    Americans just eat crap all day

  18. @Amy – I’m from England, and you stating the women outside London are on average 200 pounds, so big half the time you can’t finish food in restaurants, is ridiculously exaggerated. Yes we do have health problems regarding weight, but globally obesity rates are growing. And having been to the US a number of times, I know for a fact that there is no way the UK’s people are bigger on average than American people. It’s largely the wealthiest countries in the world that are leading the statistics- USA, the UK, Germany, but most of the West is now catching up (Greece, Spain, South American countries etc).

  19. Huh. So people in other countries hate just as much as Americans do.

    As an American, I’m not surprised with this list. There are a lot of fat people here, because we have a lot of lazy people living off of the government and such. If you’re willing to get by with the bare minimum without working, America is the place to do it.

    But I still think it’s pretty immature when people from, say, Germany or Britain think that their country is better. It just means we live a more relaxed life style.

    Take note that we may have some of the out-of-shape people in the world, but we also have some of the top athletes too. It’s all about life style.

    It’s all economics. Processed food is cheaper, so people buy more of it and eat it. Healthy, fresh food is more expensive, so less people buy it. The money talks.

    @rookiebiotch- I don’t know, you may get that award yourself. You’re beating out the U.S. pretty easily.

  20. why cant everyone get off of this “my country is better than your country” bullshit? We are all human! There is not 1 person on this planet thats any better than another. We are all equal! Immaturity is what leads to war! lets grow up, people, and stop being so snobby.

  21. Actuary, if I was in charge of good ol’ Blighty (that’s Britain for our non-Brits), know what I’d do? Do you? Do you want to know? Well lemme ‘splain. I’d enforce a fitness regime on the whole population between 16-40. Also, I’d make sure as hell that processed, unhealthy foods were taxed to the high heavens as luxuries – I’d certainly ensure that healthier was cheaper. I’d order all the fast food outlets to be closed. I’d obviously have to change the governmental system into that of a dictatorship, which people wouldn’t like, but my will would be good and although I’d force them to do things that they didn’y want to do – like exercise, I’d tell them ‘guys, sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind – father knows best’ that’s what i’d do on the Health front. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Nandos, Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa, and any other purveyors of unhealthfulness would be driven from the country. For my people, and the sake of my nation, I would place myself in a position of extreme unpopularity by taking and enforcing the decision to make my people healthy, driving out the companys that make a profit from the willful sabotage of the nations health.

  22. @EP: “so less people buy it”? You meant to write “so fewer people buy it”, didn’t you? You got a bit confused with your words there; that’s quite cute. Ironically, you go on to insinuate that I am stupid? Please pay more attention in your English lessons at school tomorrow, kid.

  23. @rookiebiotch Before I start, I must provide a disclaimer. Although, most see me as an educated person of average or above average intelligence, I am not an exceptionally good writer, and am most certainly capable of making spelling and even more egregious writing errors. I am completely aware that within the realm of debate, on and off the Internet, there exists a well worn debate strategy of attempting to disqualify an opposing person’s augment by impeaching the person’s speaking or writing ability that has nothing to do with the central point being made. My lack of writing excellence is not, and should not, be viewed as reason to disqualify the validity of my statements and opinions.

    You know its usually the inferior of the group that is the most patriotic, having nothing else but the identity of the group to take pride on. I can spot grammar mistakes, your first post first sentence already includes one, but I dont correct people because everybody makes mistakes and as long as they don’t inhibit me from understanding them I dont mind.

    @Micheal the way you perceive society is relative, you don’t see yourself as “fat” but a skinnier person would, also most of society doesn’t care if your fat and would most likely keep to themselves as long as they see it dont see it having detrimental effects.

  24. I am Australian and I am still at school, but it is pretty hard get overweight. When i think of any group of people the most I can come up with is 4 out of ten, and most usually have 2 or less, so I am confused when I see articles about obesity being worse in Australia, then see a completely contradictory statement like this or some other article, you see people fuss over obesity more then they should, because it is like it is encouraging anorexia over obesity, and anorexia is way worse for your health. Me, well I am 75-80kg and 193cm. Also a good 1st comment by Chuckle, made me laugh.

  25. Sorry the reason it is hard to get overweight is because we have compulsory sport at my school. I play Australian rules football. Look it up on Wikipedia and you will see it’s pretty cool

  26. “http://www.mibazaar.com/fattestcountries.html” is an example of how people in poorer countries will sometimes by cheap unhealthy food instead of healthy food. Nauru has the highest unemployment rate in the world last time I checked, 90% or something ridiculous, and $5000 per capita. It is probably because food is cheaper their from what I can gather.

  27. I don’t know about other people, but I excersize like crazy about 5 times a week I do kickboxing, lift weights, dancing, yoga, aerobics, etc. I only eat at home, hardly ever go out to buy fast foods, I dont drink I dont smoke, I walk about 2 miles everyday to work, cause I hardly use public transportation and I don’t know how to drive a car either, and IM STILL A FAT ASS PIG!!!! So dont judge all obese people, cause I am very active and i cant seem to lose the weight. Maybe anorexia or bulimia might work

  28. A fat person is just a fat person, does it really matter the nationality? Sure the surrounding influences in any region matter but there are fat people just about everywhere and the main issue is just focused on making fat people not fat. My ending: People of other countries chillax, pointing fingers doesn’t fix a problem and sure enough all countries are guilty of having fat people. A country can’t be held responsible for any portion of people especially in the case like obesity and overweight that it is universally known to be a bad condition, each individual everywhere is capable of not being in that condition yet some just are. There is just a high number of people that are blindly falling into the negatives of an environment everywhere. I think I have pretty much got my point across and assume no one will get the wrong message here. I’m not exactly the best when it comes to clearly expressing an opinion but I’m working on it but if anything I said gets you sour, don’t think anything of it, I probably was just not clear enough. @ SERENA and other people freaking out: You need to chill and I hope this note enlightens you because man, woah. @ CHUCKLE: A little fast food never hurt anyone, just the people who eat it irresponsibly (no burrito killed the man, the man ate too much burrito). I think fast food is absolutely repulsive but I suppose for others, to each their own.

  29. “wait for the results to come out for the world rankings in arrogance and stupidity – I’m sure you’ll come out on top there.”

    Is that why America is home to the most Nobel Laureates, Fields Medal winners, billionaires, millionaires, and top corporations? Is that why we have an average IQ of 100 and Canada has an average of 97? Listen, I know you guys are insecure about your irrelevant status in the world, and how you’ve never really contributed anything of note, but you don’t have to be bigots about it.

  30. NZ is only on the list because of all the fatass islander families coming over, getting on the benefit and putting all their dole money together where they end up earning more than the average worker that can’t afford KFC everyday

  31. When I left Texas (Red state) for a healhier (Blue state) Oregon I lost 42 pounds. Unforunatley I developed Type II Diabetes anyways. 🙁

  32. These statistics are stupid. The BMI number, which it seems is being used for these statistics, does not take into consideration muscle weight. I’m considered overweight, yet I have very little fat at all.

  33. Expatify you are not a very reliable source for statistics. You need to be more specific with your so called percentages. It’s not 66.7 of Americas population that is fat. America combined (childen, adults and every race) obese rate is an average of 30.6% out of 310,700,000 total population. Yes, 30.6% is bad, but not as bad as this misinformed article made it out to be. If you are going to put facts out, put the facts out.

  34. So, how did they come up with this figure? Were they only counting fat people, lol. No really, how did they get 2/3 of the population?

  35. The United States needs to stop fast food restaurants. specially Mcdonalds because it is their fault that we have children suffering from obesity.

  36. i live in bosnia, and i am not shure, how they obtained
    these numbers, because most of the people i see on the
    streets, are slim. on the other hand, there are many
    fat people in the villages, and among old people, and
    middle to old age woman, so it is probably explanation,
    on how bosnia made it number 6.

  37. Bullshit! There is no way that this is true. I live in Bosnia, there’s way more underweight than obese people here. Half of our country lives on the edge of existence, they can hardly afford food. Most of the people you see on the streets are skinny. Forbes published a faaar more believable list with Bosnia being number 72.

  38. Btw, the line ‘where smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995.’ is so ignorant, false and insensitive. You have no idea about everything that happened during that war. Stop making terrible assumptions.

  39. Australia is not the fattest, that’s just what fatmericans try to claim to get the pressure off their own fat arses

  40. I thought the usa was to fattest but since they are alot more populated i guess American Samoa would be the fattest because there are alot smaller and it would be easier for more of its people to get fat.

  41. Haha James, if I met you I would like you.
    @rsa24 & kamaska: I do not know where you got that from, It says, NOWHERE that we have the highest obesity or overweight percentage. Even check the following sights.


    Stop basing your “FACTS” on nothing but your own ignorance. I take all this back if you can PROVE it

  42. LOL.. It doesnt matter what country is the fattest because they are not fat by “choice”. The reason why these countries are fat are due to the leaders of the food industry (illumanti). America Samoa before European contact were very thin muscular people that ate nothing but healthy food until European introduced conventional foods. Along with many other countries before European contact were very healthy and fit except for Egypt. Egypt has been known to be on the overweight side for thousands of years.

  43. Ridiculous! The population of America Samoa is less than 100,000… I have looked at that list before and criticised it previously. Polynesian people, including a great deal of New Zealanders, get hammered by the ‘Eurocentric’ fat index because they are genetically larger, and have a much greater bone density

  44. For a fair comparison, you should split the US up by region. A real scientific study would, at the very least, include an asterix dividing the US into the West, East, South, and Midwest, and offer those statistics independently.

  45. Those are very disturbing numbers actualy 🙁 That means that we are all doing something very wrong.

  46. Yeah! Too many fries and “diet” coke. The things that we eat and the way we eat are disgusting. Thank God! My 11 year-old daughter realized that and started reading labels for calorie count. The schools and the parents are to blame. Everything can taste good if you are used to it.

  47. pepino,
    how can you put this on the schools? i grew up in the midwest and went to public schools, we learned about nutrition starting in grammar school on….i am middle-aged, my age group who are fat themselves are responsible for all of these fat kids, the school is not compensated to provide the amount of food it would take to make your kids fat…the parents are the shoppers of the family, and that is where the responsibility lies…it’s always the parents responsibility to feed their children…no i’m not in the school system, i’m in sales, and i take care of myself because my mom didn’t buy a bunch of junk food when i was growing up –i learned from example.

  48. Well Fraser, much of what you post seems to be in response to someone, but I can’t identify that posting.
    But you do realize that your just looking around is insufficient to decide who is obese. What you see is not always what you get. I entered Basic Training @ 5’7″ & 152 pounds. Very near the limit for that height. After 29 days of Basic I had gained 12 pounds of fat! Making me, technically, overweight!
    Main problem with your attempts to refute the info provided here is that your source is five to nine years out of date. And if you read the article completely you would have seen the data comes from the WHO.

    So I guess you now are constrained to recant the things you have said!

  49. OK Duncan, but I still do not think that Australia Is the most obese country.
    Do you think we can help others, or only ourselves and our children?

  50. My comments were directed at other people who posted comments on the older comments page. this page is new.

  51. This is an odd listing that looks very different to the others you see reported. I’ve been in Egypt, Germany and New Zealand and find their addition very suspect – whereas the frequently above-mentioned Australia doesn’t get a spot which I find surprising and most other reports on this issue would contradict.

  52. I think theese are disturbing numbers, and people arent fat on choice, they have a disease that a chemial or something in the brain that almost all people have, is missing. You see, we all have a chemical in tge brain which tells us to stop eating, and were full. But… some people dont have it, so they dont know when to stop eating, so they eat more and more. Also, they make the wrong choices as well, like Mcdonalds. So, yeah, that explains some.

  53. well, that doesn’t really surprise me that much…
    every time i walk into a store, i’m always seeing fat people

    i wish we would wake up and realize that this isn’t good a good thing and that we need to change this

    i don’t like that america is someday going to be known as the country of the fattys

  54. We may look very big…but it is all in the blood and the bones..We have extra big bones…strong and tough..Make good NFL players…Great body guards…all beautiful…Samoans are the kind that you have to be careful not to tick them off….

  55. Too many saturated fats, preservatives, salt and other unhealthy things in U.S. food. Too much fast food and frozen food sold too. The thing I love about Brazilians is that they know about these things and that most foods are all natural, juices with no concentrates, quality meats, etc. etc. So much access to fresh fruits and veggies in Brazil. Can’t wait to get back there.

  56. Surprised? What? With buying in BULK? Supersize? Family Size? BOGO? Meal Specials? BLAH>>>BLAH>>>BLAH>>>>.

  57. Seriously – Croatia at no. 9? Did anyone actually go there to do this? It’s the fittest country in Europe – in every meaning of the word. 😉

  58. Okay, the blame on preservatives is ridiculous and a distraction. It’s not preservatives that made you fat. It’s your fat that makes you fat. People like to blame others for their problems. They need to take responsibility for their poor eating habits and lack of exercise. That’s what it comes down to. Eating organic or whatever, isn’t going to make you thin if you’re packing 3000 calories a day.

  59. How is Croatia actually in it, because it makes absolutely sense to blame WAR and DESTRUCTION for them to start putting on weight, because usually after war and destruction that is where poverty is at its worse, and people are often charitable to their fellow countrymen, evening the spread of how much people eat. If someone can make sense of this for me, I will thank them

  60. Just to be clear,,, how many of the people that have previously commented are overweight? Answer truthfully

  61. I am from usa and, I am surprised bosnia and croatia are on the list. I went there recently and didn’t see many overweight or obese people. I really believe that this problem is due to lack of education. When you are raised in a society of fast food,processed food,artificial food how do you know what’s good. They don’t teach it in school and most parents don’t know because since they were children obesity has spiked. Nutrition should be an important part of our education system!

  62. I suggest you check the real statistics of countries before you make such a list, obviously a marketing tool for expatify

  63. Wow, Den. Sure, food companies sell fattening and consequently unhealthy food, but people can choose whether or not they want to eat it. People eat by choice, and thus become fat. Once they are obese, they complain and blame chains like McDonald’s and Burger King. Of course, they do not WANT to be fat, but they want to eat. If you plan on eating Big Macs and Poptarts, you better be willing to exercise it off. If you aren’t going to do that, you have no room to complain.

  64. You forgot to mention USA is the land of home food deliver and fast food places where drive thrus get priority over walk ins. People here can overeat until they can not get out of bed and lay in their own filth. I had a friend who was a food addict who killed himself by eating entire large pizzas every day. Our hamburgers kill as they have 1500 or more calories. 2000 calories is the total one should have in one day. Any attempt to tax high calorie foods brings out Republican Tea Bag retards who scream about restrictions on freedom. Blacks have a problem with obesity because they still eat like they are some plantation like their forefathers.

  65. First of all they did mention the fast food in USA, Second hahah proved all you wrong, USA is not fattest country. they say its the american diet WHO TOLD YOU TO FOLLOW IT, MY FRIEND IS FORIEGNER AND BECAME FAT, LEARN TO EAT A HEALTHY DIET WHO SAID FOLLOW THE AMERICAN DIET IDIOTS, IM NOT FAT, EVERYTHING I EAT IS HEALTHY, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON I EAT FATTY FOOD, so its your peoples fault, not because its the american diet, learn to control your selves

  66. What concerns me is that these results are based on BMI (Body Mass Index). This is a poor measurement of body mass. I have a skin fold measurement showing 12% fat yet a BMI of 27.5. The former shows I am well within appropriate levels, the latter, obese. Many Pacific Islanders have a high muscle proportion like this, but BMI says they are overweight. Am surprised, however not to see my country Australia in the top ten.

  67. This is an admittedly old (2002) study on obesity in the U.S., but it makes a great deal of sense to me. It concludes that the major cause of American obesity is due to 1) women forsaking homemaking to enter the labor market, making their time scarce and valuable and leading to the rise of more restaurants and fast-food outlets; and 2) the increasing number of people who have quit smoking. The researchers conclude on page 32, perhaps reluctantly, that we have created the obesity situation by “improving” in two other areas, and therefore suggest that the unintended consequences of these two public policies should call for yet another public policy to curb obesity.

    Calling for yet another public policy to curb obesity is the only thing I didn’t agree with. 🙂


  68. Simple formula for obesity

    Processed stuff (can’t be called food) + Overeating + Overdrinking + Lack of exercise = OBESE !!!

    Then people blame high cost of healthcare !! Understand that healthcare will make money where there are a lot of unhealthy people . No surprise here !!

    Get real people . Respect your bodies and treat them with care .

  69. Just another reason for us in the rest of the world to want to vomit at the mention of Americans! uh… oh… little bit in my mouth

  70. Horribly flawed study. I’m considered obese according to the BMI chart these people use for these studies yet I’m a triathlete and am in great shape. I’m also a fitness counselor and truth be told, being “overweight” by 10lbs is more healthy for your body than being underweight.

    The formula for obesity is not processed foods, fast food, or any other excuse. It’s lack of exercise and nothing more. However, there is no obesity epidemic in America and these flawed studies are just used as propaganda against stupid people that are looking for a scapegoat rather than taking the responsibility for their lack of exercise.

    Flawed statistics given out by people with hidden agendas. They don’t care about the health of people, they just want to make their own money by convincing humans across the world that there’s a non existent pandemic of obesity. I really hate these kind of studies because they’re setting up perfectly healthy people, for failure and causing self image problems.

  71. People from the UK are getting a lot fatter I’ve noticed we should probably be number 1

  72. This study must be old. Last time I checked Australia and the United Arab Emirates were fatter than USA.

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