According to the WHO, there are 1.5 million adults who are overweight and obese. The following list expands on the top 10 list of countries increasing overweight population provided by the WHO in 2007 and 2009. It delves into the crux of the problems countries face. The emphasis and focal point of this article is on the changes overtime, not specifically identified by the WHO.
1. Samoa: 83%
83% of Samoans are overweight. The reason why Samoa is # 1 is because it has a big population that is obese. According to WHO, American Samoans (of the Samoan Islands) are the fattest people in the world. 93.5% of the population is obese. The high numbers are due to the increasing migration and cultural exchanges between the West and the Samoan people. Samoan people are bringing in Western ideas for the diets. The diets are not nutritional and are high in sugar and in saturated fats.
2. Nauru: 94.5%
This tiny country has an average BMI between 34 and 35. The blame and finger is pointed towards the western Fast Food businesses which now operate inside the country. The population has become more urbanized and has tried to rely less on traditional diets and more on what we call junk food. Before junk food, obesity was never a problem. As of 2007, they have the highest overweight population. As is the problem with many South Pacific islands, Naura is expected to face such issues because of its dependence on Western cultures.
3. Federated States of Micronesia: 91.1%
Micronesia is a country with a history of dependence on foreign influences. In the last 50 years the country has been extremely influenced by the United States, who took over the country after World War II. Particularly they have changed their diets to the suggestions of the Americans. Foreign relations have allowed the country to bring in imported goods. The people are now eating more salted and processed foods which are higher in saturated fats such as corned beef, turkey tails and spam. It is thus not surprising that this country has the second highest population of overweight people. WHO predicts that the population will increase by 2015 as long as foreign influences are present.
4. United States: 74.1%
If you are wondering why United States is on this list, you should watch the documentary Super Size Me! Americans do not realize what affect McDonald’s and other fast food industries have on their weight and health. Today, 1 in 3 kids are overweight and/or obese. They are performing activities such as watching TV, which involve little exercise. 68% of adults are also overweight and have BMI between 25 and 29. It is no surprise that many Americans are approaching obesity and that obesity has quadrupled between 1986 and 2000.
They have no one to blame but themselves. They are the founders of many fast food franchises such as KFC, Taco Bell and McDonalds.
5. Mexico: 68.1%
Within the last decade there has been a surge in soft drink availability and fast food industries in Mexico. There are now a total of more than 200 McDonald’s in the country. 71% of women and 66% of men are affected by health problems associated with being overweight and obese. People choose deep fried foods over healthy ones anywhere and anytime in the country. The increasing influence of fast food and soft drinks caused a nation with an obese/overweight population of fewer than 10% in 1986 to 68.1% in 2007. This is a big change which is leading in the wrong direction. The effect is enormous as the Mexican Diabetes Foundation believes that 6 to 10 million Mexicans are affected by diabetes, which is caused by obesity and overweight.