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The World’s Fattest Countries REVEALED in New Interactive Map

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

Yet the Pacific island of Nauru doesn’t just top the list because it’s one of the most luxurious vacation destinations.

Because data suggests it’s actually the fattest country in the world.

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

The 10 MOST overweight countries 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 overweight countries 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

Vietnam, on the other hand, has the honor of being the thinnest nation.

The most recent global study recorded that only 18.3 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s population was overweight or obese.

A fascinating interactive map published by Our World in Data – which users of the MailOnline app can see by clicking here – illustrates the huge 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 the world’s adults were overweight or obese.

Roughly 64 percent of Britons and 68 percent of Americans are also fat, according to figures.

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 data on body mass, in particular the number of people who were underweight, overweight or obese.

No country saw a decline in obesity rates during that period, according to data published by Our World in Data.

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

This was followed by the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, which registered 84.7 percent, 83.5 percent and 81.9 percent, respectively.

Outside the Pacific, Kuwait reported a rate of 73.4 percent, ranking it eleventh.

The US was 15th, Australia 25th and Britain 30th in the ranking of 195 countries.

The third smallest country in the world, Nauru recorded the highest percentage of adults who are obese or overweight at 88.5 percent. Pictured above, the Buada Lagoon in Nauru

Vietnam recorded the lowest levels of obesity and overweight adults worldwide, at just 18.3 percent.  Pictured above, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam recorded the lowest levels of obesity and overweight adults worldwide, at just 18.3 percent. Pictured above, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat 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+: Morbid obesity

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) measure of equal to or greater than 25, while obese is defined as an adult with a BMI of 30 or higher.

The BMI of a healthy person – calculated by dividing the weight in kg by the height in meters, and the answer by the height again – 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 several cancers.

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

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

In the UK, obesity and related diseases cost the NHS an estimated £6.1 billion a year, and this will rise to more than £9.7 billion each year by 2050.

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that obesity costs the U.S. health care system nearly $173 billion a year.

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

In comparison, next to Vietnam, which recorded the lowest number of overweight or obese people, India reported the second lowest share at 19.7 percent.

Bangladesh scored the third least overweight country in the world with exactly 20.0 percent.

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

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