Countries with the Lowest and Highest Obesity Rates in the World


Rising International Obesity Rates

According to recent statistics on obesity made by the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight and another 400 million are obese. Those are big number. That is definitely a lot of people that really need to lose weight.

In truth, these soaring International obesity rates are staggering. As well, reports from the International Obesity TaskForce (IASO) says that there are 155 million children around the world who are overweight including 30-45 million children obesity issues. It is quite obvious that people worldwide need to lose weight.

Highest Obesity Rates For Countries Worldwide

Did you know that the United States has one of the highest International obesity rates in the world? Obesity statistics done by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show that 34.2 percent of Americans are overweight, 33.8 percent are obese, and 5.7 percent are "extremely" obese. I do believe that countless Americans could benefit from a healthy diet and lose weight.


More Soaring International Obesity Rates

International obesity rates have hit an all time high. Current international statistics on obesity by WHO show that the United States and many other countries have very high obesity rates. Not only are more adults becoming overweight but our children are also affected. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that over 20 million children under age five are overweight and have children obesity issues. As well, these numbers are on the rise.

  • Nauru 96.9
  • Cook Islands 93.4
  • Micronesia, Federated States of 93.1
  • Tonga 91.4
  • Samoa 81.1
  • Niue 80.9
  • United States 80.5
  • Argentina 77.7


Facts on Obesity: Health Risks

Being overweight can cause many health problems as you probably well know. In truth, these health problems caused by being overweight are directly related to one of the highest causes of death.The rising International rates are directly related to millions of diseases worldwide.

A 2007 study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that heart disease is the number one cause of death killing 616,067, Cancer: 562,875, Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952, and Diabetes: 71,382.

Most experts agree that being overweight increases high blood pressure, heart disease, high blood sugar and many other health issues. The majority of international diets encourage obesity and adverse health conditions. Now, by diet I do not mean a regime that is designed for one to lose weight. Diet in this instance means the "said" regular daily eating habits.

Obesity statistics done by the Wellness International Network (WIN) shows that obesity is related to several medical conditions.In reality, intercontinental obesity rates high among many related diseases.

Various Obesity Related Diseases

  • 90% of Type 2 Diabetec diseases are related to obesity
  • 80% Cardiovascular Disease (21% of ischaemic heart disease)
  • 80% Stroke
  • 8-42% Certain forms of cancer (colon, endometrial, and breast)

With these statistics it is obvious that many people with obesity problems and concerns should lose weight. A healthy diet would definitely reduce many health issues.

Note: Before going on any diet, it is highly recommended that you consult with your health care provider first.


Highest Obesity Rates: Top 10

The top 10 highest Intercontinental obesity rates are as follows:

  • Nauru 94.95
  • Micronesia 92.10
  • Cook Islands 91.85
  • Niue 83.80
  • Samoa 82.60
  • Palau 80.85
  • United States 78.60
  • Tonga 77.15
  • Kiribati 76.60
  • Dominica 75.80


Lowest Obesity Rates For Countries Worldwide

Although there are numerous countries around the world that have high statistics on obesity, there are also countries that have very low obesity rates. While some of these countries have low obesity rates and low children obesity issues, they also have high nutritional deficiencies. Note: These rates exclude all countries with 20% or higher rate of nutritional deficiencies and high rates of poverty.

  • Sri Lanka 9.1
  • Indonesia 9.1
  • Sudan 19.3
  • Singapore 21.1
  • Djibouti 21.2
  • Philippines 22.2
  • Comoros 24.3
  • Yemen 24.6
  • Thailand 28.3
  • Japan 29.8
  • Gabon 30.2
  • Korea 35.5
  • Tajikistan 33.5
  • Kyrgyzstan 34.5
  • Cape Verde 35.6
  • Algeria 37.4
  • Republic of Moldova 37.5
  • Romania 37.7
  • Honduras 40.1
  • South Africa 41.3
  • Georgia (Europe) 41.5
  • Cameroon 43.9
  • Kazakhstan 43.9
  • Mauritius 44.8
  • France 48

Healthy Cultures with Low Obesity

Although the rate of obesity has skyrocketed especially in the last decade, there are countries that have extremely low health diseases that are related to being overweight. In fact, these countries have very high longevity rates and excellent health. Discover some of the countries with low obesity rates and their secrets to longevity at Healthy International Diet Secrets and Being Overweight.

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Comments 31 comments

Bronson_Hub profile image

Bronson_Hub 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Such a well written article. I'm bookmarking this one for work! I had to look up the top 3 on there. Maybe some of the growth in places like Nauru come a higher population of endomorph somatotypes (people prone to storing more fat) influence by western diets. I had a Samoan friend I worked out with whose body fit the stereotype. He swore that eating a burrito would make him expand like a balloon. I think he exaggerated, but it would be interesting to hear other testimonies.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

Hi Bronson. Thank you for such great feedback. Wow... Yes, it is interesting that Nauru, Micronesia, and Cook Islands have such a high obesity rate, Samoans especially. Nauru was first inhabited by Polynesianand and Micronesian people at least 3,000 years. Then between 1798 - 1888, Brits and Germans arrived. I feel you have a good point. A Europian diet in a tropical climate is not a good combo. Usually in cold country a person needs more fat to store for the winter with faster metabolisms in the spring.

Because of the obesity rate in Nauru the life expectancy in 2006 was 58.0 years for males and 65.0 years for females... devistating.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

Oh, and Nauru, Micronesia, and Cook Islands are not "cold" countries.

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Well done hub. It really is scaring to read these statistics. I didn't realize how it was around the globe. Thanks for putting this information together. Now the question is, what to do about it.

sophie_allen profile image

sophie_allen 5 years ago from Washington D.C. USA 20002

Mecheshier, this is a good read, a well written article. We really need to start living healthy and do consistent exercise to avoid unwanted outcomes and diseases.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

Thank you sophie_allen, I am pleased that you enjoyed it. Yes, you are absolutely right, we do need to start living healthy lives for there are always consequences if we don't. Thank you!

Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

Obesity is becoming an epidemic. Great hub. Unfortunately, startling statistics. It's not just how much we consume here in the US either, it's what we consume. Processed foods and animal products are killing us. I'm a vegan, but I know that's not for everyone. Animal products don't have to be completely removed from the diet, but we really need to look at cutting back... a lot.

Voted up and useful!

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

You are absolutely right Daughter of Maat. Although I am not a vegan, I have been a vegetarian for over 35 years and am much healthier for it. I am not opposed to people who eat meat; in fact, fish is a great food. I do not eat fish or poultry; it is a preference.

TY for the vote and feedback!

Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

I have seen a huge drop in my blood pressure, which couldn't be controlled with medication, and my energy levels have spiked since we went vegan. I started by becoming vegetarian though. I went completely vegan because I saw the movie Forks Over Knives and I was so disgusted I ransacked the house and threw out all the animal products and processed foods. My poor husband just stared at me in disbelief and then said "You're gonna waste all that food?" lol I said "no, you're going to take it to the church up the road." lol

I lost 70lbs with this diet, and I feel AWESOME! I'm sure you do to, and it is totally a matter of preference, although now I see a steak and get rather nauseated!

whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 4 years ago

I live in Asia. Whenever I go to the United States for a few weeks I start putting on weight. I don't normally have cheese in my diet but almost everything I was eating in the USA was laced with cheese. It is almost as if I could not escape it. I don't know if it is cheese that is the problem for everyone but I think it is for me.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi whoisbid.Yes, cheese can be very fattening, but it is a good source of protein. Although, processed cheese is not real cheese and very high in empty calories.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Very impressive! I love your story. I bet you are a lot healthier now as well! I do feel lifestyle and eating habits have a lot to do with ones weight. I never diet, but I also never overeat.

travel-O-grapher profile image

travel-O-grapher 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Wow... very interesting article and some really interesting facts as well... Im quite amazed to see my country (Bangladesh)'s name at the top of the non-obese list! but im not really surprised since a lot of people in our country are poor... if only there existed a programme through which the "extremely obese" would donate some of their excessive eating money to the less fortunate!

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Now that is a concept. I think that might be a great motivator.

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Lots of figures, diagrams and data can't hide that obesity is another version of 'public enemy number one'. The UK is currently going through an alarming phase of obesity. 'Fatties' sometimes can't help their predicament because of their metabolism, but they can seek advice instead of letting it get on top of them. We can't afford the outlay and the strain on the health services makes life hard for those around who might better need the medical services in accidents.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

You are right Alan. However, this research led to another article on countries with the lowest obesity rates and their diet secrets "". If this helps anyone overweight then the hours spent writing the article are well worth it.

There are many factors that can cause obesity, rarely is it the thyroid (3% if I remember correctly, don't quote me though). e.g. lack of exercise including sports being taken out of our school programs, poor diet (high fat etc.), the computer age ( I see young folk texting instead of watching natural wonders such as eclipses, beautiful sunsets etc.), the list goes on. What is really crazy is that because I am skinny (with muscle) many feel that I am a drugie or something is wrong. The world has changed my friend and in some ways not for the better. Thank you for your feedback!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Obesity is a huge problem here. And I don't think portion sizes are getting better- in fact it seems like fast food and the food industry in general are oblivious to how their marketing affects consumers. Eating healthy does take some work but the end results are worth it. Great hub!

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi Alecia

Thank you for such great feedback. It seems that North and South Carolina love their fried food and even fat such as bacon in their vegetables. I have a sister who married a man from N. Carolina. In 10 years she put on more than 75 pounds. Yes, good food choices make a world of difference. TY again.

Healthexplorer 3 years ago

Really the statistical review is quite amazing, it was aware us about the truth that how much of obesity rate will be increases in the near future and how many people’s are moving around us with having big and fat belly.

Definitely these stuffs are a worst nightmare for every country to reduce the effects of overweight, government and food department of every country tries a number of remedies to reduce these facts but still countries are facing the huge blow of obesity.

I must suggest we should be more conscious about our diet and workout programs and definitely give no room for obesity.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 3 years ago Author

Hi Healthexplorer

You are absolutely right. It is not only the amount of food we eat but what we eat. Many people consume empty calories. As well, an exercise program would do everyone wonders. Unfortunately, most of our schools have cut back on their sports programs and what is available is costly for the average family. As an adult, so many people have forgotten the simple things in life that keep us healthy like walking, riding a bike etc.

Thank for the feedback

Christine Miranda profile image

Christine Miranda 3 years ago from My office.

Excellent article. Well written. I have to say I am not surprised the US was in 7th place. I actually expected them to be in the top 5. I am curious as to the stats 10 years ago? 20 years ago? With all the work you've done an article comparing stats of the last 50 years may be a new hub idea for you. Voted up & more.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 3 years ago Author

Thank you for your feedback. Yes, the US ranked higher 10 years ago. Maybe it is because of the economy people are now eating less. Hubs are minimal nowadays. I have been busy with my 2 websites. But I think that would be a great article.

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Obesity is a growing problem and I see where South Africa lies but don't see Croatia. An interesting list you have accomplished.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author


The obesity rate for Croatia is 24.2% (2008). However, I did not list countries with 20% or higher rate of nutritional deficiencies and high rates of poverty.

Barbie 2 years ago

Very useful information

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Thanks Barbie. I am glad that you my Hub useful.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 11 months ago Author

Thank you toknowinfo.. Yes the obesity stats are rather high worldwide. I do have an article on how to lose weight and stay healthy: Healthy Diet Secrets Including the Georgian Diet

Smiteplayer88 4 months ago

Wow. This is like motivation because South korea is the place i wanna go to when i get enough money but my nationality is Micronesia so its a bit embarrassing but true because many of my family members are a little obese

Student 4 months ago

Hey mecheshier I need some info from you about this article such as ...who is the publisher? what are your qualifications for writing this? is this info from an expert and if so what is the evidence? what info can you give me that verifies the info I see in this article? when was it first written? are you biased? thank you. All of these questions of mine need answers so that I can do my summer project so please respond as quickly as possible

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 3 weeks ago Author


My utmost apologies for not getting back with you. I am rarely on Hubpages anymore and was swamped this summer with work. I wrote this article, and NO, it is not biased. If you noticed, all the stats were referenced e.g the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Obesity TaskForce (IASO). I find that the WHO is generally pretty accurate and very unbiased.

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 3 weeks ago Author


Thank you so much for your lovely response. So sorry for the delay in responding. I have been working a lot this summer.

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