One of the most secluded islands in the world with picturesque beaches, golden sands and subterranean lakes.
But the Pacific island of Nauru doesn’t just top the charts as one of the most luxurious vacation destinations.
According to data, it is actually the fattest country in the world.
Nine out of 10 people on the island, a four-and-a-half hour flight from Brisbane, are overweight.
10 most obese countries in the world
1. Nauru – 88.5%
2. Palau – 85.1%
3. Cook Islands – 84.7%
4. Marshall Islands – 83.5%
5. Tuvalu – 81.9%
6. Niue – 80.0 percent
7. Kiribati – 78.7%
8. Tonga – 78.5%
9. Samoa – 77.6%
10. Micronesia – 75.9%
10 countries with the least overweight in the world
1. Vietnam – 18.3%
2. India – 19.7%
3. Bangladesh – 20.0%
4. Ethiopia – 20.9%
5. Nepal – 21.0%
6. Timor – 21.6%
7. Cambodia – 21.7%
8. Eritrea – 22.0 percent
9. Niger – 22.0 percent
10. Burundi – 22.2%
In contrast, Vietnam holds the honor of being the skinniest country.
In the most recent global study, only 18.3% of the Southeast Asian country’s population was documented as being overweight or obese.
An interesting interactive map published by Our World in Data, which users of the MailOnline app can view by clicking here, shows the big difference in obesity rates.
This data is a compilation of figures from 195 countries worldwide in 2016.
More than one-third (39%) of adults worldwide are overweight or obese.
The figures show that roughly 64% of Brits and 68% of Americans are also obese.
Statistics come from the NCD Risk Factors Collaboration, which recorded a global trend of 128.9 million between 1975 and 2016.
It looked at data on body mass, specifically the number of people who were underweight, overweight or obese.
According to data published by Our World in Data, not a single country has seen a drop in obesity rates over that period.
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%.
It was followed by the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu with 84.7%, 83.5% and 81.9% respectively.
Outside the Pacific, Kuwait ranked 11th with a reported rate of 73.4%.
In the league table of 195 countries, the United States ranked 15th, Australia 25th and Great Britain 30th.
Nauru, the third smallest country in the world, had the highest adult obesity or overweight rate at 88.5%. Pictured above is the Buada Lagoon in Nauru.
Vietnam recorded the world’s lowest rates of obesity and adult overweight at 18.3 percent. The picture above is Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
How to calculate body mass index and what it means
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on weight for height.
- BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703
- BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))
- Below 18.5: underweight
- 18.5 – 24.9: healthy
- 25 – 29.9: overweight
- 30 – 39.9: fat
- 40+: morbid obesity
Overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) measurement of 25 or higher, while obesity is recorded as an adult with a BMI of 30 or higher.
A healthy person’s BMI (weight (kg) divided by height (meters) divided by height) is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Obesity is a leading risk factor for the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.
Obesity-related type 2 diabetes 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, obesity caused 4.7 million premature deaths in 2017.
In the UK, obesity and related diseases cost the NHS an estimated £6.1 billion a year, and are expected to rise to more than £9.7 billion annually by 2050.
It is also believed to cause over 30,000 deaths each year in the UK.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that obesity costs the US health care system nearly $173 billion annually.
According to Our World in Data, 13% of adults 18 and older worldwide were recorded as obese in 2016.
In comparison, India has the second lowest percentage at 19.7%, with Vietnam having the lowest percentage of people who are overweight or obese.
Bangladesh has the third lowest obesity rate in the world at exactly 20.0%.
In most high-income countries, about two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.