The Fattest Country In The World Isn't The United States

Good news for people with astonishingly low standards for what "good news" should look like: the United States, with all its decadence, gluttony, and Cheez-It shaped Pizza Hut slights against God, is not the fattest country on Earth. Heck, according to the World Population Review, Americans don't even crack the top ten, in direct defiance of Colonel Sanders' best efforts.

So who, full-figured index fingers waving in the air, is number one? You'll probably never guess, seeing as you, like plenty of folks, have maybe never heard of them.

Who has the meats?

First off, how do we measure obesity? The medical standard for being overweight points to a body mass index, or BMI, of above 30. BMI is calculated by dividing an individual's weight in kilograms by their height squared. 

As of 2019, the World Health Organization lists the country with the highest mean BMI as the tiny island nation of Nauru, located in the Central Pacific. While its population barely breaks the five figure mark, its residents tip the scales, with more than 90% categorized as overweight and 45% definitively obese. 

And for the connoisseur of the large and in charge, there's the unincorporated U.S. territory of American Samoa, with just shy of a 75% obesity rate. How did this happen? Some scientists claim that Pacific Islanders are genetically predisposed to being heavier set. A grimmer view was pointed out in a 2014 Telegraph report which stated that the obesity epidemic could be traced back to white colonists on the islands introducing the native population to unhealthy eating habits and increasing their reliance on unhealthy, processed, imported foods. For the record, the Brits are to blame for that one.

And in case you were curious, the United States comes in at number 12 on the CIA World Factbook's list of pudgiest countries, with a gentlemanly 36% of the population doing their part to push us over the muffin-top. Keep eating, patriots. We know you've got what it takes... and a little extra.