The worlds fattest countries DISCOVERED on a new interactive map

The world’s fattest countries DISCOVERED on a new interactive map

It’s one of the most remote islands in the world, home to picturesque beaches, golden sands and even an underground lake.

But the Pacific island of Nauru is not only one of the most luxurious holiday destinations.

Because data suggests that it is actually the fattest country in the world.

Almost nine out of ten people on the island, a four-and-a-half hour flight from Brisbane, are overweight.

The 10 most overweight nations in the world

1. Nauru – 88.5 percent

2. Palau – 85.1 percent

3. Cook Islands – 84.7 percent

4. Marshall Islands – 83.5 percent

5. Tuvalu – 81.9 percent

6. Niue – 80.0 percent

7. Kiribati – 78.7 percent

8. Tonga – 78.5 percent

9. Samoa – 77.6 percent

10. Micronesia – 75.9 percent

The 10 least obese nations in the world

1. Vietnam – 18.3 percent

2. India – 19.7 percent

3. Bangladesh – 20.0 percent

4. Ethiopia – 20.9 percent

5. Nepal – 21.0 percent

6. Timor – 21.6 percent

7. Cambodia – 21.7 percent

8. Eritrea – 22.0 percent

9. Niger – 22.0 percent

10. Burundi – 22.2 percent

In contrast, Vietnam holds the distinction of being the thinnest nation.

Just 18.3 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s population was overweight or obese during the latest global study.

A fascinating interactive map published by Our World in Data – which Web app users can see by clicking here – illustrates the wide gap in obesity rates.

The data comes from a compilation of figures from 195 countries around the world in 2016.

It showed that more than a third – or 39 percent – of adults worldwide were overweight or obese.

Around 64 percent of Brits and 68 percent of Americans are also fat, figures show.

The statistics come from the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, which recorded global trends of 128.9 million people between 1975 and 2016.

It looked at body mass data, specifically the number of people who were underweight, overweight or obese.

Not a single nation saw obesity rates fall during that period, data released by Our World in Data showed.

All of the world’s ten fattest nations were found in the Pacific, with the island of Palau reporting the second-highest percentage of overweight or obese adults at 85.1 percent.

It was followed by the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu with rates of 84.7 percent, 83.5 percent, and 81.9 percent, respectively.

Outside the Pacific, Kuwait reported a rate of 73.4 percent, ranking 11th.

The US was 15th, Australia 25th and Britain 30th in the 195 nation rankings.

The world’s third smallest country, Nauru, had the highest rate of adults being either obese or overweight at 88.5 percent. Pictured above, the Buada Lagoon in Nauru

Vietnam had the lowest adult obesity and overweight rates in the world at just 18.3 percent.  Pictured above, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam had the lowest adult obesity and overweight rates in the world at just 18.3 percent. Pictured above, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat percentage based on your weight in relation to your height.

Standard formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))


  • Under 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Healthy
  • 25 – 29.9: Overweight
  • 30 – 39.9: Obese
  • 40+: Morbidly obese

A body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 is considered overweight, and an adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

The BMI of a healthy person – calculated from the weight in kg divided by the height in meters and the result in turn by the height – is between 18.5 and 24.9.

Obesity is a risk factor for several of the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and various types of cancer.

Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity, can also lead to complications like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney problems.

According to The Lancet’s 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, 4.7 million people died prematurely from obesity in 2017.

In the UK, obesity and related diseases cost the NHS an estimated £6.1 billion a year, with costs projected to rise to over £9.7 billion a year by 2050.

It is also thought to be responsible for more than 30,000 deaths in the UK each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that obesity costs the US healthcare system nearly $173 billion annually.

According to Our World in Data, 13 percent of adults aged 18 and over were obese worldwide in 2016.

In comparison, India reported the second-lowest proportion at 19.7 percent, alongside Vietnam, which recorded the lowest levels of overweight or obese people.

Bangladesh is the third least overweight country in the world at exactly 20.0 percent.

In most high-income countries, about two-thirds of adults were overweight or obese.