Obesity epidemic : the top ten countries with the fattest people

Introduction

Ever wondered idly where the fattest people live? Which country in the world is home to the porkiest people? Wonder no more!

The Economist publishes yearly figures for every country in the world, about every single statistic you can imagine.

Amid % spending of GDP on health care, and average figures for literacy and clean water supplies, is a list of the obese populations of each country.

So I got out my calculator, did a little extra research, and here they are! The top ten countries for obesity.

I must admit, I was prejudiced. I expected the USA to top the list, and I was absolutely wrong.

I also thought England would thud heavily towards the top, but it didn't even make the list (an honourable 12th place only.)

The figures are for the percentage of the adult population with a BMI over 30.

That will, of course, catch a few rugby players and heavyweight boxers who have high BMIs and low body fat percentages, but most people with a BMI of 30+ are just fat.

"The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli, 1485
"The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli, 1485
Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus
Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus

10th fattest - Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus nestles in the warm waters of the Mediterraean, occupying in law the whole island of Cyprus, but in fact about 60% of the land area (the unrecognised Turkish Cyprus bags the rest).

About 800,000 people call Cyprus home, and approximately 2.5 million tourists a  year visit.

Independent from Britain since 1960, Cyprus has been a member of the European Union since 2004.

Awash with classical mythology and ruins, Cyprus was the home of Aphrodite (Greek goddess of beauty and sex) and Adonis (Greek god of ever-youth, male beauty, and plants).

Today's Cypriot gods and goddesses are somewhat larger than their classical counterparts - 26.6% of Cypriot men are obese, and 23.7% of women.

Overall, the island nation comes in at tenth place in the fat list, with 25.15% of the population having a BMI of over 30.

Joint 8th in porkiness - Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain ("Bahrain" means "two seas") is a constitutional monarchy in the Persian Gulf, and has been Islamic since about 900 AD.

The country spreads across 33 islands, near Saudi Arabia (a big bridge connects the countries) and Qatar (another massive bridge is planned).

Oil was found in the country in the early 1930s, and much of the country's wealth is based on oil.

The country is hot and dry - 93% of the land is desert, and only 3% can be used for farming.

About 1.2 million people live in Bahrain, and they are a large lot. 23.3% of men are obese, and 34.1% of women - overall, 28.7% of the adult population is obese.

Joint 8th for obesity - Kuwait

The second, but far from last, appearance in this list from a country in the Middle East.

Kuwait, bordering Saudi Arabia and Iraq, is a constitutional monarchy. 3.5 millionpeople live here, but only 1.5 million of them are Kuwaiti citizens. 

The country became independent from Britain in 1961. Today, it's an Islamic, Arabic-speaking nation, and an important oil producer - it has the fifth largest oil reserves in the world, and 95% of exports are oil.

Kuwait is hot, desert-like, and dry - the only country in the world which doesn't have a natural lake or water reservoir.

And they are a well-sized lot. 28.7% of Kuwaitis are obese. Women are more fat here, as 29.9% of them have a BMI of 30 or more, compared with 27.5% of men.

Bahrain landscape
Bahrain landscape
Korab, Albania
Korab, Albania

7th chubby country - Albania

29.2% of Albanians are obese - the second European country to grab a place on the fat list.

The Republic of Albania has borders with Kosovo (also an Albanian-speaking country), Greece, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Until the break-up of Yugoslavia, all those, apart from Greece, were part of the former country.

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Approximately 3.5 million people call the place home.

Most are Muslim, but there are also large Christian Orthodox and Catholic communities.

Albania had one of the best-ever named Kings - King Zog, who ruled in the 1920s and 1930s.

The country is now a parliamentary democracy, following several decades of communist rule by Enver Hoxha, ending when he died in 1985.

Albania has a long coastline, and is a very hilly and green country.

22.8% of men are obese, here, and an astonishing 35.6% of women.

The Codex Mendoza's front page, from a 71 page guide to Mexican culture, life and history, written in about 1540 AD. Now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
The Codex Mendoza's front page, from a 71 page guide to Mexican culture, life and history, written in about 1540 AD. Now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Obese Mexico in 6th place

The first of three American countries to make the cut, and the last country on this list where fewer than 30% of the adults are obese, is the United Mexican States.

Mexico, a federal republic, has 31 federal states, and a population estimated at 110 million people. It is a Spanish-speaking country (with tens of native languages as well) and a Christian country, in fact but not in law. Most Mexicans, some 90%, are Roman Catholics.

Oil is Mexico's biggest foreign export (there is a real trend here - oil-producing nations are fat countries).

The country notches up 29.45% of its adults as obese. Men are seriously slimmer than women in Mexico - 24.4% of men have a BMI of over 30, far less than the 34.5% of women who make the grade.

Canal construction, 1907
Canal construction, 1907
Locks being built for the Panama Canal in 1913.
Locks being built for the Panama Canal in 1913.

A canal through the middle of obesity - Panama is number 5

The Republic of Panama sits either side of the isthmus connecting the north and south American tectonic plates, and has land borders with Columbia and Costa Rica.

Bagged by the Spanish in their massive colonisation efforts in the 16th century, Panama remained a Spanish possession for 300-odd years, before becoming independent finally in 1903.

Panama's position astride the narrow land bridge has made it unique.

Without the Panama Canal, ships wanting to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific would still have to go right round South America, never an easy or short journey.

The Canal had been thought of for some time, and after declaring independence, Panama granted the USA the land to build and run the 50-odd mile Canal forever.

In 1977, control passed to Panama from the USA.

Panama is a wet, tropical country, with extensive rainforests.

An officially Spanish-speaking democracy with approximately 3.5 million people (40% speak various forms of English), Panama citizens are almost all Christian, and Roman Catholic.

32% of adults in the country are obese, 27.9% of men, and 36.1% of women.

American Great Seal
American Great Seal

In a surprisingly low 4th for fatties, the USA

The third and last American country on the list is the United States of America.

Another oil-producer, there really may be a link here....

The USA is a federal republic, with a population of about 307 million people. There is no official state language, but the standard across the country is English, with Spanish the most-used second.

The USA's population is 32.15% obese. 34.1% of American adult men have a BMI of over 30, and 33.2% of American women. The figures for the two genders are much closer than most entrants on the list.

The not-slim King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
The not-slim King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

A (large) bronze medal for Saudi Arabia

Back to the Middle East, and third on the list is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi has borders with lots of other countries - Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen.

The current Kingdom dates from 1932, and the country is ruled by the House of Saud, as an Islamic absolute monarchy. In keeping with the Islamic nature of the state, women's activities are severely limited (they must cover up comprehensively, and can't drive) and there is no alcohol.

It is a major oil producer, the biggest oil exporter in the world. The oil and obesity theme continues....

Most of the country is hot and desert, and only 2% of the land is used for agriculture.

The Arabic-speaking population is estimated at about 27 million people. 35.2% of the country's adults are obese, 26.4% of men and 44% of women.

The Parliament Building in Beirut
The Parliament Building in Beirut

Settling for 2nd place, the obese people of Lebanon

The large people of Lebanon live in a small country on the Mediterraean, with Israel and Syria as neighbours.

Lebanon was a peaceful and prosperous place (the "Switzerland of the Middle East") until the civil war started in the late 1970s, and since then, has become a troubled and violent place. Since 2006, things have definitely improved for the country.

Lebanon is a rocky and upland country in the main, with a temperate Mediterraean climate.

It became independent in 1941, having previously been a French colony. The official languages today are Arabic and French.

Approximately 4 million people live in the country, and another 18 million of Lebanese descent (mostly Christian) live across the world. The current citizens are approximately 60% Muslim and 39% Christian.

Those 4 million are a large lot. 37.3% of the adults in the country are obese, 36.3% of men and 38.3% of women have a BMI of over 30. Although in second place overall, Lebanese men are the fattest in the world.


Zubara Fort, Qatar
Zubara Fort, Qatar

First place in the obesity epidemic - Qatar!

Qatar is a clear winner in the fattest people competition. Another Middle Eastern country, it is next to other entrants in this list, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Qatar became an Islamic country in the mid 7th century AD, and remains so. It became independent from Britain in 1971, and is now an Emirate. 

A lot of the countries in this list are oil producers, and a lot are former British colonies. Qatar is, fittingly, both. It has massive reserves of both oil and natural gas, and zero income tax for its citizens. It is a very wealthy country indeed, by many measures, it has the highest GDP in the world.

Qatar's estimated 1.5 million citizens are Arabic speakers.

And they are large. Very large. More than 2.5% higher than second-placed in this list, 39.95% of adults are obese. 34.6% of men have a BMI of over 30, and an absolutely astonishing 45.3% of women are obese.

More by this Author


Comments 122 comments

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

This is indeed surprising. What gets me about the US is that weight is disproportional to wealth.


DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

DRG Da Real Grinc 7 years ago from All over the USA

Wow, never would of guessed that Mexicans were on their. I'm surprised of the other ones too though. Good info. there's a lot of big people in my town and they have a street called Commit to be fit Ave statistics show a slow participation. Thanks for the info and keep it hubbing.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

Very interesting (and surprising) Hub. I'd like to read more about this. I guess I was under the impression that the U.S. might be Number 1, based on what the media presents and on what we all see at the local grocery store or schools. My theory is that stress may be far more of a contributor to all obesity than many people seem to realize it is. Nature designs people to head for the high-energy foods when their body is in a stress response. Then, of course, throw in that starches tend to be cheap, an unhealthy appreciation of "food as entertainment", and the occasional case of gluttony - and there you have it. :) (at least according to my theory)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I was astonished at the number of Middle Eastern Countries, I just hadn't expected that at all.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

Here is where 'wealth is not health' based on this list with the Middle Eastern folks being at the top. You may want to break it down for the US, which state has the most obese. I'm worried where Hawaii will be, because of what im seeing. Good hub again!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Wow LondonGirl I tried to think of some of the countries before hand and I would have guessed that the US would be number one. Great information!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Glad you both enjoyed it!


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

Great Information. I was surprised the US was fourth, I thought we were at least first in that.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Fat and happy? That phrase comes to mind when I read this hub. Not true, in the USA though. Must say I was surprised we're #4! (thought for sure #2 or #3). :)


Keith 7 years ago

Very well reaearched indeed. Impressive


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

The non-American thing surprised me too! Glad you all found it interesting.


jooliver 7 years ago

very interesting article. thanks my stumble friend.


belief713 profile image

belief713 7 years ago from NJ

Funny, not what I was expecting at all. And my hubby is Panamanian, so that was funny too seeing them right behind us. I don't know, all I know is all of these places are beautiful and I would love to see them, regardless of if I gain a few pounds from visiting!

By the way, what is The Economist?

Thanks for sharing.


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

These statistics are indeed a surprise London Girl - glad to see Australia is not here although we have our share of super fatties in our midst - although I noticed that there are more overweight people in Queensland than in Melbourne or Sydney - makes me wonder if the heat has something to do with the problem....cheers and thanks for this unexpected information


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Glad you found it interesting.

Belief, "The Economist" is a very serious, but exceptionally well-written weekly news magazine, published in the UK.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol

This is a very interesting hub. I was definitely shocked that the UK wasn't on this list.


oddnut 7 years ago

nice hub, i was surprised to see the UK was only 12th,,


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Yup - clearly, we need to eat more pies here in the UK (-:


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi LG, a very interesting hub. I just had to find out the answers. I see two countries being a number 8? :-) London girl, why do you think it is mostly middle eastern countries?


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

I found this very interesting, and agree with Teresa -- that weight in the USA is disproportional to wealth.  There are very few obese wealthy people.  Otherwise, it reminded me of "Fiddler on the Roof,"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc


men are dorks profile image

men are dorks 7 years ago from Namibia

I hear what you are saying, but, what reference did you use. 'm almost certain another researcher group will come up with something totally different. I'm recalling a TV(I think it was Discovery - not sure though) program not so ong ago that US, UK, Germany, and some other country is te fattest nation on earth with obesesity of great concern. Good one though..


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

wow, really shocking statistics!!! I never known that bcz I knew that US was the lead country in obesity! I think one of the reasons is too much wealth and dependency like what is happening in several Middle East countries.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Wow LondonGirl that's quite a surprising hub. Maybe because 'deep frying' just about everything is such a common way for food to be prepared in the middle eastern countries.

great hub regards Zsuzsy


dandoun profile image

dandoun 7 years ago

looooool its very surprising for me!!! Maybe I don't know that ! GREAT HUB


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I loved the way you presented these statistics and the photos and the details you chose.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Ripple - 2 at 8, then comes 10, because they are joint-8th place. I don't know why the Middle East dominates, it came as a surprise to me.

Christa, the same is true in the UK - lower socio-economic groups are fatter, on the whole.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

men are dorks, as in the 1st paragraph, the Economist's stats "The World in 2009".

shamelabboush and Zsuzsy Bee, I was pretty surprised too!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

dan and Tom, thank you! Glad you found it interesting.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I thought all our corn syrup in every product would make us number one in the US


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Startling! Who would have thought it? Could it be because only the citizens in these countries are taken into account? The Middle East has a large population from all over the world so what you see isn't fat - maybe the locals where most of the women stay indoors and eat a lot are!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

In the U.S., high-calorie and junk foods are cheaper than foods that are less fattening.  Hence the ratio of wealth to obesity found in oli-rich Middle East countries does not apply here.  But I, too, was surprised the U.S. only comes in at #4. 

Well done, LG!  But yes, you Brits should definitely start loading up on the pies.  #12 indeed!  ;D


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Good job of presenting facts and statistics in an interesting way.


jur profile image

jur 7 years ago

Great joib.


topstuff profile image

topstuff 7 years ago

Im surprised totally middle east countries got highest rank.


colorsuz profile image

colorsuz 7 years ago from Ann Arbor, MI

crazy, is this information for 2009?


v1ctory 7 years ago

Totally surprised.. Was expecting America to rank higher.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

interesting, and makes me wonder about diet in the middle east. I know that part of the problem in the USA is just quantity, as well as poor choices.


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

So Qatar has replaced Australia? Looks like a good competition is going on in this field. ;)


charanjeet kaur profile image

charanjeet kaur 7 years ago from Delhi

This is an interesting hub with some astonishing results, i swear i would have never expected any of these countries myself. Good analysis and a very well written hub indeed.


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Total shocker some of these results. Great work!


Son of Cobra 7 years ago

32.15% of Americans are obese. There are approx. 307million Americans. This equals almost 100 million lard asses. Quatar has a population of only 1.5 million. At 39.95% obesity, this comes out to around 600,000 lard asses. Percentage-wise Quatar might be the fattest but there are more hambeasts in America than there are in all of the Middle East and probably most other countries combined. Don't let the percentages fool you, they just show the fat to fit ratio, not how many fatties there actually are. Stand proud America, in reality we are still the fattest nation on Earth, clever wording doesn't change the truth. We're still #1 in my books!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Thanks for reading, all! Glad you enjoyed it.

These stats are from 2007 and 2008, depending on the country and how and when they gather information.


lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

Like most everyone else who has commented, I'm surprised by the US's rank. I would guess though that we are moving towards the number one spot.


Leta S 7 years ago

I think the US gets the press for being fattest because we may be the fattest westernized country. Also, we somewhat do hold the world's attention--like it or not for anybody... The most interesting thing IS the oil connection, hmmm. One other thing I'd say is yes--people in the US are surprisingly fatter than I remember even when I was a kid. It is so strange to go to a college town--Flagstaff here--and see all these students literally obese at 30 to 40 lbs overwieght. I actually did a little impromtu experiment once, counting those who passed me as I people-watched--I'm going to say over 1/2 of those I counted were overweight in this particular shopping center. So weird!


ngureco profile image

ngureco 7 years ago

Good information and thank you.

It seems wealth, temperatures and levels of education have a lot to do with obesity.

This situation is very worrying for USA at number 4, more so when you reflect on the huge population of 300 millions and the high level of education in US.

A long time ago, Finland had a big problem of obesity which seems to have been controlled by now.


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Nice research. I never would have guessed.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I think it's all come as a surprise, the number of Middle East countries.


futonfraggle profile image

futonfraggle 7 years ago

Very surprising! I'm shocked.


UK Magazines 7 years ago

Its really surprising for me. Not only for me its surprising for everyone. You have done a great job.


Camping Dan profile image

Camping Dan 7 years ago

I am actually shocked the US is only in 4th. I did see that coutries in which more people biked to work were the fittest. So we all just need to start riding a bike to work.


Owais Siddiqui profile image

Owais Siddiqui 7 years ago

Nice hub and a BIG thumbs up try my hub too

http://hubpages.com/health/Green-Tea-a-great-Way-t...

Camp Dan may be you are right as you will hardly see any fat people around in china those who are fat are the foreigners mainly because they don't drink cold water and GREEN TEA is very commonly used ..... see my hub


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Glad you all found it interesing!

Obesity is on the increase in China, too, I believe.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

you see heaps of chubby kids now in China thanks to KFC


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I dare say the population size depends on who is counting it and why (-:


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Interesting stats! who writes publishes "The Economist" ? I assume its well known in business.

I do know that Qatar pays zero taxes, and have a great basketball team. Im thinking employment would be great too.

Corn syrup even in bread nowdays. too .my my what would Grandma say!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

The Economist is a great, very factual and interesting publication.

http://www.economist.com/


kerryg profile image

kerryg 7 years ago from USA

What an interesting analysis! I am as surprised as everyone else by the results.


Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

Enjoyed the information and presentation. Shocking statistics! Good hub!


EcoAsh profile image

EcoAsh 7 years ago from Hemet

I didnt know so many middle eastern countries were fat. i noticed there are no Asian or south american countries.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

nice information, for many junk food,fast food and many people lazy to sport causes this obecity epidemic. for any one please visit my hub. I'll appreciat that.


isyan profile image

isyan 7 years ago

hmmmm... is the philippines included? lol.... :) pls add me up on your fans list.. god bless!


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

Interesting and rather unexpected stats if I may say so. I would have thought that the Middle east was not so obese, but I guess with three countries making the list it puts paid to my line of thought.


megs78 profile image

megs78 7 years ago from quebec

I, like everyone else, am completely surprised! I learned something new today. I expected Canada to be on that list. Maybe its included in the USA ?:) Thanks for such an informative hub.


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 7 years ago from Wisconsin

A very interesting hub. What a surprise too. I wonder what city has the fattest people in the world?


mulberry 7 years ago

That is absolutely astounding, I would never have expected that. I guess perhaps the clothing disguises it. I live in the US and I can tell you in my part of the country at least, seeing people who are significantly overweight is the norm, not the exception. I don't think people here even have a sense of what ideal body weight is...there is no memory of it.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Canada and the Philippines do have stats, but don't make the grade, I'm afraid.

Can't help with the fattest cities, though, I don't know!

Mulberry, I think our perception of normal weight has shifted, and got larger, for sure.


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Hi LG Well hubby and I both have our birthdays on the same day (May13) and we have just returned from 'Red Lobster" and as the name suggest yummy seafood ,delectable in fact !!and we dipped most of our dinner in butter ,so I confess we have may have just nudged the USA up a place or two in the rankings (shhhh)...lol......


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I shouldn't think a meal or two makes that much difference, hope you enjoyed your birthday dinner!


ThePioneer21 profile image

ThePioneer21 7 years ago from Liverpool

This is extremely interesting, and like most people, i would never have expected America to be 4th- I was thinking more like 1st! And I'm even more surprised that the UK wasn't even in the top 10- probably about 50% of the people I know are obese!

Great hub:-)


Ransomed profile image

Ransomed 7 years ago

Hm, very interesting. I guess when you are sitting on a hefty oil reserve, you get fat and lazy.


MrCoote123 profile image

MrCoote123 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Depressing stuff. In the west especially we tendto over indulgence. I blame our diets which are high in refined carbs.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I felt sure Australia would get a mention!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

There does seem to be a curious link between oil and obesity - maybe that's why Australia escapes!


cheapbuys profile image

cheapbuys 7 years ago

Fascinating. One of my friends from India came to America for the first time. The first impression about America is that everyone is overweight.


Vince 7 years ago

This is a really great top ten list, very surprised to see the US as only #4, and even more surprised to see so many Middle Eastern countries dominating the list. No surprise that Africa was not represented. Anyone can post their own list to our site http://www.toptentopten.com/. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

This was really interesting! Like everyone else, I was really surprised to see that the US was not at the top of the list. I think different parts of the country are definitely heavier than others and from my own observations, it is not those with high incomes- but the opposite.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I think we've all been surprised by the top few not including more western countries! In the UK, lower income groups are fatter, too.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

That's a surprising list. I was certain we were #1 here in the states and shocked to learn what other countries made the list.


Carmen Sandiego 7 years ago

This is shocking! I always always thought that Americans were disgustingly the fattest. I wonder why the Middle East takes the cake (no pun intended). Any thoughts?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Very surprising list.  I would have expected all of the top ten to have been part of Western Civilization with their "poor" people 100 pounds overweight.  I really like the way you incorporated interesting information about the countries involved.  Nice touch, that.  Like everybody else, seeing these Middle Eastern countries at the top is astounding.  Excellent Hub.  Thanks!

And to boot—we've found Carmen Sandiego!


nonz 7 years ago

ya know i m surprised,i live in saudia and i have hardly found very fat people,saudia women r really slim and so r man.I my self is from Pakistan and quite fat but of course my origin is not saudia.i again surprised with kuwait/behrain and qatar result....i wisg these places had more fat people,so i could have better market for XL sizes..hehehehe


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Glad you found it interesting - like many people, I was surprised!

Sorry I can't help nonz - perhaps try online for clothes?


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I know that in asia, if you are indeed overweight, you're immediately associated with being wealthy.  Anyone there that has bulk can afford to stuff their face apparently and on the flip side, obesity is also viewed as beautiful, especially people with rotund figures.  I know, it's nuts. In either case, great article! I could almost hear your voice, as if you were doing a BBC exclusive! Great job.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I think moderation is great - neither huge nor skinny is best! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks very much.


morrisonspeaks profile image

morrisonspeaks 7 years ago

I also read that one in five Americans aged 18-34 is obese! Yes, I have noticed the spread widening on Americans as we sidle up to yet our next buffet or super-sized fast food meal.

Thanks for sharing this.

Here's my take on this topic :)http://hubpages.com/education/Speaking-of-hogs


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

It also encourages people to change their view of "normal" weight, I think.


Muscat 7 years ago

I have to disagree ! I have been to Saudi and Oman and found that the people there are perhaps the skinniest ! lol

The Uk on the other hand is packed full of chubby overweight (I just gave birth excuses !! )


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

It's what the figures say (-:


Islam 7 years ago

informative hub.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.


tirona 7 years ago

I'm Albanian and trust me, we may be many things but fat is not one of them. Those stats you have probably apply to the politicians, as they are the only ones who've been getting fat. Sorry to disappoint you but England remains the fattest country I've seen in Europe


jonty 7 years ago

Very well written hub .....

very much informative ......

Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.


Catherine R profile image

Catherine R 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

Interesting list. I too would have expected America to be up there, along with the UK and possibly Australia. Makes us feel better anyway!


Dr Bisharat 7 years ago

cool hub.


zakir naik 7 years ago

i am the fat person of asia.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

I enjoyed this immensely, however I would have thought that the U.S. would have been number one. Glad to know we're not. Very good hub.


latest news 6 years ago

my country Pakistan is having very fat people because people eat mostly meat.


bollywood songs 6 years ago

my best friend is the 5th fat person in Asia.


Amber 6 years ago

I am obese and I live in California (US). I know my diet has a lot to do with my obesity problem. It's mainly processed foods. I have recently adopted a healthier lifestyle and the weight is starting to come off. I know most Americans eat processed foods....I don't know what the issue is with the Middle Eastern countries.


Asif Zardari 6 years ago

Arab has many fat people.


islam Ali 6 years ago

i also want to be fat but losing my weight slowly.


AndyK26 profile image

AndyK26 6 years ago

dont know where you get these facts big ????????


GoFatty! 6 years ago

Where is Australia?


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

I'm also surprised that so many middle eastern countries appear in this list. From my experience of middle eastern food it's mostly healthy stuff. Although most countries have their fair share of fast-food chains. A very interesting hub :)


FB Siphon 6 years ago

GoFatty you must be kidding when asking "where is Australia?"


kyler 6 years ago

I find it alarming that the number of obese people in the US outnumbers the entire populations of the other nations except for Mexico. But I also have to wonder if you drop the BMI down to what is considered just over weight if the list would change? Would other nations go up? Some down? Especially with the US. How would it then rank?


Radyation 6 years ago

As most of you guys I was surprised, too. However, there is a very simple explanation regarding the Mid East countries, and it has absolutely nothing to do with McDonalds, KFC, or petrol.

Have you ever tried "arab" sweets, delights etc.? Everything is soaked in sugar syrup. The sweeter, the better.

They eat tons of sugar, as simple as that.


sarah 6 years ago

Never believe what you read online. These statistics are obviously wrong. How come most middle eastern countries are listed here, i live in the middle east and beleive me they aren't that obese, and have you included the expats? most of those countries have a population of 50%-70% expats. I suggest you get your facts right!


Eebz 6 years ago

Hi I'm from the Middle East from the island of Bahrain. I'm not trying to make excuses but I think adaptation to a low energy environment (deserts) involves moving little in order to conserve energy, and by necessity populations were of a normal BMI in the past (through environmental constraints). Perhaps due to onset of rapid modernity and wealth, the cultural aspect of minimal movement did not shift and change as well (i.e. we are people that adapted to live in an ocean 'abyss' like abyssal fish do).


eLLIEE 5 years ago

omGG i LIVE in America and i am not fat not ALL americans are fat !


Janene 5 years ago

Where did 9th place go?


Supra-man 5 years ago

Bahrain was 9th, just typoed


Marquise 5 years ago

You're retarded! America is ranked first! It is not 30%, it is 66.7%. Qué ti


isel 5 years ago

I'm surprised but then realised its expected, not only the Middle East countries really wealthy because of Oil, they also allow slave labour from coutries like Phillipines, India, etc to do all the manual work for peanuts! Its no wonder the citizens are FAT. The hot weather is not the major reason for these obese citizens at all but the lack of physical activity like doing their own housework. Almost all manual jobs are considered beneath them & are the job of the poorly paid Overseas Contract Workers from Third World Countries. OCW's don't get good treatment either by their bosses which is very sad. They are treated like animals. A friend was watching a documentary the other night & was shocked at just how wealthy some of the Middle Eastern Countries are! The people on welfare are rich doing nothing & they even have several slaves from Philippines or India. Talk about greed & unfair pay. That sort of thing doesn't happen in Western Countries. The wages are fair & the same for the locals & workers from overseas.


Hey 5 years ago

Lol Albanians fat, since when?


HI 5 years ago

nah this i wrong there is no FAT people in QATAR


FromBahrain 5 years ago

Reason why most countries in this list are Arab: 1. They are Gulf countries, some of the richest countries in the world - 2. Extreme temperature, making the Gulf an indoor culture. You rarely see people jogging or walking anywhere in Qatar or Bahrain: The streets' for cars. 3. Our food. Tasty, but comes with a price.

This is coming from one of the skinniest people you'll ever see - also a Bahraini, so even with these statistics, there are many fit, healthy Bahrainis as in anywhere in the world :P


FromBahrain 5 years ago

isel - I'm not sure how you're trying relating obesity with "slave labor". Since when doing house-work made anyone lose weight? Also don't believe anything you hear; I have a housemaid in my own house. She's not mistreated, I even have her family on my Facebook for whenever she'd like to talk to them. I also take her out to the mall whenever I get the chance. Plus, the money she gets its pretty low by Bahraini standards but in the Philippines, they receive 10 Dinar a month of they work as housemaids over there, as for the Gulf, they receive 80 Dinars. Plus, we provide clothes, food, mobile, credit and everything for free as she's working for us.

Plus, if I ever hurt her in anyway, the government would take SERIOUS measures to provide protection, and to arrest me. These things, your documentaries ignore. Propaganda towards the Mid-East will always exist, if you want to know how things really are over here: Drop by. What I explained up there is the case with MOST Arab families, and if you come to the gulf you'll see that they aren't the exotic mythological "slave traders" but some of the most hospitable you'll ever meet :)


medwalls 5 years ago

very surprising but nice


ZouZ 5 years ago

this is stupid...lebanon is number 2???? haha...come 2 leb and see how skinny we are...u are hallucinating my friend...go read the WHO report...we are number 80...


codi 5 years ago

Thank God Africa didn't make d list.


Khalid Azmi 4 years ago

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