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World’s fattest nations

The World Health Organization issued its 2010 annual report today, focusing on how to assure all people have access to health services. GlobalPost didn’t pay attention to that, and instead focused on WHO’s fattest nation stats.

The U.S. scores poorly, as always.

Obesity is on the rise in poor as well as rich nations and is of increasing concern as a major cause of death and disability.

Here are the top ten, from the worst to less worse, and the percentage of the population judged to be obese:

  1. Nauru, 95%
  2. Micronesia, 92%
  3. Cook Islands, 92%
  4. Tonga, 92%
  5. Niue, 84%
  6. Samoa, 83%
  7. Palau, 81%
  8. United States, 79%
  9. Kirabati, 77%
  10. Dominica, 76%

Here’s the global distribution of male obesity from WHO. The more reddish a country, the fatter its population. You can go here to WHO’s obesity site to do a search for female obesity, which has a similar distribution (I couldn’t find a map including both genders, but maybe you can):


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.