Data Pandas Logo

Most Obese Countries

Title
This is some text inside of a div block.

The Global Scale of Obesity

Obesity is an urgent public health issue impacting countries across the globe, with staggering implications for healthcare systems, economies, and most importantly, the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals. The World Health Organization defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. The pervasiveness and gravity of this global epidemic require immediate attention, as over 650 million adults were obese as of 2016.

Recent data reveals a strikingly high prevalence of obesity in several nations, with the Pacific Island nations leading the list. The following key findings open up a broader discourse on the severity and pattern of the obesity crisis worldwide:

  • The Pacific Island nation Nauru holds the ominous distinction of having the highest obesity rate in the world. A shocking 61.0% of adults in Nauru are considered obese, according to the available data.
  • The United States appears 12th on the list with 36.2% of its adults classified as obese, indicating a pressing concern for public health.
  • Other countries with significant obesity rates include Kuwait (37.9%), Jordan (35.5%), and Saudi Arabia (35.4%).
  • The Asian continent shows significant diversity in the prevalence of obesity. Countries like Japan and South Korea report low obesity rates (4.3% and 4.7%), yet others like Kuwait and Jordan report a percentage more than seven times higher.
  • The lowest obesity rate is recorded in Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country, with only 2.1% of its adults considered obese.

These figures represent just the surface of the complex issue of obesity worldwide. Beyond these numbers are the millions of individuals affected and the urgent need for strategies to address the underlying social, economic, and health factors contributing to global obesity rates. Together, through collective effort and commitments to promoting healthier lifestyles, we can look forward to turning the tide on this global public health concern.

Most Obese Countries

The ten countries with the highest obesity rates are Nauru, Cook Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, and Micronesia. Nauru tops the list as the country with the highest amount of obese adults, with a shocking 61.0% of its adult population reported as obese. 

Coming in close second is the Cook Islands, with an obesity prevalence of 55.9% among adults. The small island nation of Palau is ranked third with 55.3% of its adult population being obese. Next is the Marshall Islands, 52.9% of its adults are categorized as obese.

The fifth country with the highest obesity rate is Tuvalu, with an obesity prevalence of 51.6% in adults. Following Tuvalu is Niue, where exactly half of the adult population is reported to be obese. This is closely followed by Tonga with 48.2% and Samoa with 47.3% of adults being classified as obese. 

Kiribati and Micronesia round off the list, with 46.0% and 45.8% of their respective adult populations reported as being obese. 

10 Countries with the Highest Obesity Rates:

  1. Nauru - 61.0%
  2. Cook Islands - 55.9%
  3. Palau - 55.3%
  4. Marshall Islands - 52.9%
  5. Tuvalu - 51.6%
  6. Niue - 50.0%
  7. Tonga - 48.2%
  8. Samoa - 47.3%
  9. Kiribati - 46.0%
  10. Micronesia - 45.8%

Least Obese Countries

The ten countries with the lowest obesity rates are Vietnam, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, India, Nepal, Japan, Ethiopia, South Korea, Eritrea, and Sri Lanka.

Vietnam holds the position of the country with the lowest obesity rate with only 2.1% of its adult population being classified as obese. Following closely is Bangladesh with an obesity rate of 3.6%. Timor-Leste holds the third spot with 3.8% of obese adults, and India barely surpasses it with a rate of 3.9%.

Nepal enters the chart with a rate of 4.1% obese adults whilst Japan's obesity rate sits at 4.3%. Ethiopia and South Korea report obesity rates at 4.5% and 4.7% respectively. Towards the end of the list, we see Eritrea and Sri Lanka, which both have relatively low obesity rates with each country marking 5.0% and 5.2% respectively among adults. 

The ten least obese countries, are:

  1. Vietnam - 2.1%
  2. Bangladesh - 3.6%
  3. Timor-Leste - 3.8%
  4. India - 3.9%
  5. Nepal - 4.1%
  6. Japan - 4.3%
  7. Ethiopia - 4.5%
  8. South Korea - 4.7%
  9. Eritrea - 5.0%
  10. Sri Lanka - 5.2%

By Country

Full Data Set

To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology