The Fattest Nation in the World, Nauru? What?


Photo: Colros

We've accepted that America is the fattest nation in the world. I mean three out of four Americans are projected to be overweight or obese within 10 years. Before 1980, only one in ten Americans was overweight. But it seems that a tiny Pacific island nation has quickly come from behind and may actually take the cake or the French fry for that matter. Is America being surpassed by Nauru? We face a population explosion and at the same time, a waistline expansion, that could cause instances of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related illnesses to sky rocket. According to the Independent, the tiny Pacific island of Nauru was named as the fattest nation in the world. Its average Body Mass Index is between 34 and 35, 70 percent higher than in some countries in South-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

With urbanization comes the spread of more and more fast food nations and all the related health problems that accompany a high fat, highly processed, and nutritionally deficient diet. Researchers from Imperial College London and McMaster University in Canada, writing in the Lancet describe it as a "tsunami of obesity that will eventually affect all regions of the world."

The explosion of the American diet seems to be spreading across the globe but unfortunately the outlook is even more grim for third world countries. Once heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses begin to creep in, the problem is difficult to solve because healthcare in many third world nations is less than stellar. The availability of blood pressure and cholesterol medication, which has also become a part of the new American diet, is less available in these nations.

I'm not saying that this is the best route for many who should certainly make dietary and lifestyle changes before getting on the medication. Plus it's financially unsustainable, but the fact of the matter is the addition of an unhealthy diet along with desk jobs and too much stress without ample healthcare equals early death and lots of unnecessary diseases.

According to the story:

Considering all risk-factor trends together, the forecast for cardiovascular disease burden... comprises a population emergency that will cost tens of millions of preventable deaths, unless rapid and widespread actions are taken by governments and health care systems worldwide.

Read the World's Obesity Map including nations slimming down, fattening up, and the world's thinnest population.

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