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The 20 Most Obese Countries in the World in 2019


Obesity is a worldwide problem and there are more people becoming overweight than ever before. Obesity is determined by teh body mass index. The normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. When it exceeds 30, a person is diagnosed as being obese. This is a global crisis that affects an estimated 30% of the population, or 2.1 billion people. The death rate is above 3 million people annually,  who passed away from health conditions related to obesity. Since 1975, the obesity rate throughout the world has tripled. This is not an epidemic that is specific to any one place in the world, but there are cities where the incidences of obesity are higher. Obesity is also determined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, otherwise known as the OECD, which collects data from countries' statistics based upon height and weight estimates from national surveys, and the World Health Organization which collects similar data. Here are the 20 most obese countries in the world for 2019, according to the body mass index data per capita.

20. Barbados - 28.7

Barbados is an island country which is in the Lesser Antilles region of the West Indies. It's a small island of 164 square miles in the North Atlantic Ocean. The mean BMI of Barbados is 28.7. The female mean is 30 and the male mean is 27.4. This country is number 12 in female obesity ranking and number 38 with regard to male obesity ranking, for an overall positioning of 20th most obese nation in the world today.

19. Trinidad and Tobago - 28.7

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the Caribbean. It's a series of islands near Grenada and in close proximity to the northeastern coast of Venezuela. This country is the 19th most obese country in the world. The female BMI averages 28.7 and it ranks as the 21st most obese for women, with the male BMI averaging 27.9, making it the 20th most obese country in the world for men. It is tied with Barbados with regards to the percentage of obese citizens.

18. The Bahamas 28.8

The Bahamas is located in the Caribbean within the Lucayan Archipelago consisting of over 700 islands, and islets within the Atlantic Ocean. The country lies just to the northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands and to Florida's southeast. The average of the national BMI is 28.8 for both male and females. When broken down, it is the 17th most obese for the female population and the 16th for male obesity. The average female BMI is 29.6 and the average male BMI is 28.

17. The United States of America - 28.8

The United States of America and The Bahamas are running neck and neck on their obesity rates. The USA consists of 50 states adn five major territories which are self-governing in an area of 3.8 million square miles. The average BMI of the female population is 28.8 and the average male BMI is the same at 28.8. There are equal numbers of obese men and women according to the statistics with the females less obese than those in the Bahamas and the rates for males running a bit higher. A few of the issues which contribute to the high number of obese individuals in America include more people with a sedentary lifestyle, people who lead busy lives and the easy access of unhealthy and calorie-laden fast-foods.

16. Belize - 28.9

Belize is an independent Central American country which borders Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, as well as Guatemala. It was formerly known as British Honduras. This is the sixteenth most obese country in the world, with its overall BMI average coming in just a tenth of a point ahead of the United States. The BMI average for females is 30.2 ranking this the 9th most obese country for women and its BMI for males is 27.6, placing it at 26th for male obesity.

15. Jordan - 28.9

Jordan has the same national BMI average as Belize, but it is distributed a bit differently. It ranks 15th overall in high BMI averages with the female population averaging 29.7, and the males at 28.2. Jordan is located on the Jordan River's east bank, bordering Syria on the north, Israel, and Palestine to the west and Saudi Arabia to the east, with Iraq to the northeast.

14. The United Arab Emirates - 29

The fourteenth most obese country in the world for 2019 is the United Arab Emirates with an average national BMI of 29. The UAE is a country that is located within the Persian Gulf. The overall BMI for men and women is 29. Women have an average BMI of 29.7 and men of 28.6. There is a higher rate of obesity among women than of men in this country with a rank of 15 for the ladies and 11 when compared with the rest of the world for the men.

13. Egypt - 29.2

Egypt is the thirteenth most obese country in the world, narrowly beating The United Arab Emirates by two-tenths of a percent. In Egypt, the national average for the body mass index for females is 30.7, which is getting higher into the obesity category, making it the seventh most obese country in the world for women. Males have a national BMI average of 27.6, ranking 26th in the world.

12. Marshall Islands 29.2

The Marshall Islands is tied with Egypt with an overall national BMI of 29.2 including both men and women. Females have an average of 30, ranking 12th in the world and males have an average of 28.4, also ranking twelfth. Women have the highest BMI overall in the country.

11. Qatar - 29.2

Qatar also has a national BMI average of 29.2, however, the statistics for men and women are a bit different than Egypt or the Marshall Islands. The women have an average of 30.1 ranking 11th in the world, and the men come in at an average of 29. with a ranking of 6th in the world.

10. Tuvalu - 29.3

Tuvalu leads the top ten countries in the world with the greatest problems with obesity among their populations. The body mass index average for women in the country is 29.9, ranking it as number 14 for obesity in women, and it is 9th for men with a BMI average of 28.7.

9. Federated States of Micronesia - 29.4

The Federated States of Micronesia has an overall national average for body mass index of 29.4 including both males and females. When the statistics are broken down, Women have an average of 31, ranking 4th most obese with men having a BMI of 27.8, coming in 22nd in the world ranking for most obese.

8. Palau - 29.4

Tied with The Federated States of Micronesia is the country of Palau. The national body mass average for males and females is 29.4. Women have an average of 29.5, ranking at nineteenth for women in the world, and men have a BMI average of 29.4 placing them as the fifth most obese country for men.

7. Kiribati - 29.6

Kiribati is the seventh most obese country in the world for 2019 with a national average body mass index of 29.6. the average BMI for women in this country, cumulatively is 30.5, placing them in the category of the sixth most obese country in the world for women, and males have an average of 28.7, ranking as the 9th most obese country for men.

6. Saint Lucia - 29.6

Saint Lucia has the same figure for their national average BMI as Kiribati, with very slight variations in the distributions of the figures. Women have a national average of 30.5 for a BMI, placing this as the 8th most obese country for women, and the men have a BMI of 28.9, making it the 7th most obese country in the world with regard to its male population.

5. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 29.7

Saint Kitts and Nevis is the fifth most obese country in the world for 2019. Women in this country have an average body mass index of 30.9 which is above the guidelines for obesity. This makes Saint Kitts and Nevis the 5th most obese country for women and men have placed 12th in the world with an average male BMI of 28.4.

4. Kuwait 30

Kuwait is the fourth most obese country in the world with a national average body mass index of 30. This is extremely high, and it indicates that there is an ongoing problem with health and nutrition in the country. The average body mass index of women in teh country is 30.8 with a ranking of 6 for the most obese country for women in the world. Men average a BMI of 29.5 placing them at 4th. Poverty is not as much the issue in Kuwait as in some other countries as the wealth of the nation is also higher than in many other countries.

3. Samoa - 31.7

Samoa is the third-most obese country in the world today with an average body mass index of 31.7. While the average MBI for men is 29.0, placing them at 3rd in the world, women have an average BMI of 33.5, which is tied for the highest figure for women in any country in the world.

2. Tonga - 31.9

Tonga is the second most obese country in the world. Like Samoa, the women have an average of 33.5 for a BMI. This ties them for first place. Men have an average of 30.4, placing them in a firm second. The issues in Tonga suggest that there are also extreme health issues including diabetes and heart disease which are both exacerbated by the status of being overweight. It is a national crisis in this country for the entire population, both men and women are at risk for serious health issues as a result of the epidemic of obesity which plagues the country.

1. Nauru - 32.5

Nauru is the most obese country in the world for 2019. The national average body mass index is 32.5. The average for women is 32.8, placing them as 3rd. Men have a BMI average of 31.1, lodging them in the first place for the most obese country for men in the world. Nauru is a country that has an epidemic of obesity across the board. The current statistics suggest that there are more overweight people in the country than those who fall under normal body mass index readings. There is further evidence that the issue is nearly evenly distributed among men and women alike.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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