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The United States is Not the Fattest Nation

Posted by James on Sep 24th, 2008 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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I hear a lot about how fat and lazy the American people have become. For some reason, the rising obesity rates in the United States have left a stigma of sorts on its citizens. Would it surprise you to hear that the United States is not even the fattest nation in the world? Quit bagging on the U.S. and lets look at some facts.

The U.S. is Ranked 9th

According to a Forbes article released last year, the United States ranks 9th when it comes to the percentage of the population categorized as obese. Granted, the U.S. is the highest ranking “westernized” nation. The size of the U.S. also means there is a large population of obese individuals which gives the appearance of being the fattest nation.

The Entire World is Getting Fat

What the Forbes article highlights is that the United States is not alone in the obesity problem. Both advanced and third-world nations are seeing dramatic increases in obesity.

There are 1.6 billion overweight individuals in the world. That number is expected to increase by more than 600 million in the next decade. Is America the only nation with a problem? I think not.

Americans Do Tend to Be Lazy

There are many reasons behind the obesity problems. Maria at Fitness Cure recently opined about the laziness of Americans. While I think her article unfairly picked on Americans, she does have a good point about Americans making too many excuses when it comes to losing weight. Apparently, people believe they don’t have enough time or desire to lose weight. While the excuses are not surprising, I doubt they are limited to just the United States.

Processed Foods = Fat Population

The entire world is getting fat on readily available sources of high calorie, nutrient deficient foods. Most of the top ten fattest nations are Pacific-Island nations. These countries have better access to poor quality foods than in the past which in do doubt contributes to their rotund population. With decreased farming in these regions, physical activity has dropped as well. Decreased activity and laziness is not specific to the United States.

Processed foods are cheaper to produce, buy and eat. It makes sense that the poorest nations in the world are only going to get fatter. 

I think it is time to quit harping on the United States about the obesity rates. The alarming obesity rates are a global problem. Each nation must do better in education their citizens about health and nutrition. In the mean time, I guess blogs like Fitness Cure and Eat Every Three will have to educate the world one article at a time. :-)

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