Connect to share and comment
It's a big world, after all. We're talking to you, American Samoa. Kiribati, too.
6) Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 percent
Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, obesity is dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina, where smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995. Those living just above the poverty line in developing countries are gaining weight the fastest, partly because of the tendency to fill up on cheap processed foods high in calories and low on nutritional value.
7) New Zealand, 62.7 percent
In a study at the University of Otago, researchers found that how much time New Zealand children spend watching television is a better predictor of obesity than what they eat or how much they exercise. The study found that 41 percent of the children who were overweight by age 26 were those who had watched the most TV. Television is not the only reason New Zealanders are gaining weight, but it’s one modern development often cited for growing childhood obesity.
8) Israel, 61.9 percent
In the past 30 years, the number of obese Israelis has tripled, evidence the country is truly part of the Western world. Like in most developed countries, flab is most prevalent among Israelis with less education, with Jewish women with college degrees having the lowest levels of obesity and Arab women with basic education having the highest.
9) Croatia, 61.4 percent
Croatia, where cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, is also a victim of the globalization of the food market, which tends to suppress traditional diets as cheaper processed foods from the U.S. and Europe flood store shelves. Unlike other Europeans, Croatian men have higher rates of obesity than Croatian women, and tend to get even fatter as they age. It’s no wonder that a Croatian charity announced in June that it had created the world’s largest pair of jeans — the size of six tennis courts — stitched together from 8,023 donated pairs of jeans.
10) United Kingdom, 61 percent
Last month, The Observer begrudgingly reported that the heaviest man in the world was not in the U.S., but a 48-year-old Brit living in low-incoming housing in Ipswich “eating takeaways and playing computer games.” His weight: 980 pounds. British bellies are expanding for the same reasons as everywhere else. A recent survey, however, ranked Brits among the bottom third of European nations in physical exercise, leading Health Secretary Andy Burnham to comment, "We're really in danger of being known as the best in the world for watching sport, but one of the worst for getting out there and doing it for ourselves."