A person is obese when their Body Mass Index is higher than 30. The BMI measures a person's weight in relation to their height, giving them a score. A normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9.
The number of obese people in the world total is approximately 2.1 billion, which makes up about 30% of the total population. This number continues to rise. Over 3 million people each year die from obesity. The worldwide obesity rate has tripled since 1975.
In addition to dramatically decreasing a person's life expectancy, the quality of life of an obese person is affected. There are numerous health risks, including higher risks of diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. Pregnant women that are obese may suffer from complications that can lead to health problems for the mother or child. Other health risks from diabetes include osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, kidney disease, strokes, and high blood pressure. Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death.
Obesity isn't just limited to one part of the world. Obesity exists in every country. However, some countries have a far high proportion than others. These nations are categorized as the most obese nations in the world. While some think that the richest and most developed countries in the world are the most obese, this isn't always the case. The United States and the United Kingdom are two of the most economically rich and developed countries globally. However, they are only ranked 12th and 36th, respectively, when compared to other nations.
There have been multiple nations with small economies that have been classified as the most obese, and the World Health Organization says that the rising costs of healthy food and food scarcity in underdeveloped nations is a contributing factor to obesity.
Nauru is the most obese country, with 61% of its population having a BMI higher than 30. The Nauru obesity problem, like many other South Pacific countries, is possibly attributed to Western settlers who taught them to fry their food and import less healthy food, abandoning their traditional cultivation, preparation, and preserving skills.
Kuwait is the fourth most obese country, with an average BMI of 30. Kuwait's obesity is blamed on the arrival of American fast-food restaurants, which have taken over and replaced local food. As a result, diabetes has also been on the rise in Kuwait.
- Nauru (Average BMI: 32.5)
- Tonga (Average BMI: 31.9)
- Samoa (Average BMI: 31.7)
- Kuwait (Average BMI: 30)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis (Average BMI: 29.7)
- Saint Lucia (Average BMI: 29.6)
- Kiribati (Average BMI: 29.6)
- Palau (Average BMI: 29.4)
- Micronesia (Average BMI: 29.4)
- Tuvalu (Average BMI: 29.3)
Because of the multiple health complications of obesity, it can be used as a major overall health indicator of a population. The healthiest countries in the world generally have lower obesity rates.