• Overview
  • Micronesia 45.80%         
  • Kiribati 46.00%
  • Samoa 47.30%
  • Tonga 48.20%      
  • Niue 50.00%          
  • Tuvalu 51.60%
  • Marshall Islands 52.90%
  • Palau 55.30%     
  • Cook Islands 55.90%         
  • Nauru  61.00%


Globally, there has been an obesity epidemic. Fast food, lack of exercise, and genetic conditions are all contributing to obesity. WHO defines overweight and obesity based on a person’s body mass index (BMI), which measures weight in relation to height. BMI greater than or equal to 25 is considered overweight, while BMI greater than or equal to 30 is considered obese.

Here are 10 countries considered to have the greatest number of obese citizens.

10. Micronesia

Average BMI: 29.7

Located across the western Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia are an island nation. Over 600 islands make up the archipelago. In Micronesia, there are four governing island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap. With a growing population of 116,255, it is the 10th on our list with a total 45.8% average obesity rate. It is estimated that 51.5% of Micronesia’s women are obese. For men, it is around 40.1%

09. Kiribati

Average BMI: 30.1

A country in Oceania in the central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is officially known as the Republic of Kiribati. More than half of the permanent population lives on Tarawa atoll, which is their capital. 32 atolls and a raised coral island, Banaba, make up the entire nation. The gross population of the nation is 121,388. The 9th place on our list, 46% of Kiribatians are considered obese. Women are once again on the lead with 50.4% obesity rate with men following behind with 41.6%.

08. Samoa

Average BMI: 32.2

Formerly known as Western Samoa, Samoa is officially the Independent State of Samoa. It is a Polynesian island country.  The country is a sovereign state and a Commonwealth member. The estimated population of the country is said to be 200,144. Out of them, 47.3% of Samoans are considered Obese with females taking up 55% and males taking up 39.9%.

07. Tonga

Average BMI: 32.2

Known officially as the Kingdom of Tonga, Tonga is a polynesian archipelago.  Featuring more than 170 South Pacific islands, many of which are uninhabited, with white beaches, coral reefs, and tropical rainforests. With an estimated residents of 106,759 people, it has a 48.2% obesity rate, 54.5% of it being women and 41.4% being men.

06. Niue

Average BMI: 32.4

Located in the South Pacific Ocean, Niue is a small island nation. This area is known for its limestone cliffs and coral reef diving sites. New Zealand’s free association with Niue permits the island of Niue to govern itself independently. Niueans are legally New Zealand citizens. It is one of the smallest nations on our list with an estimated population of only 1,620 people and 50% of them are within the obesity range. Within that 50%, 55.1% are women and 44.8% are men.

05. Tuvalu

Average BMI: 30.8

The island nation of Tuvalu is located in the South Pacific. Among its nine islands are small atolls and reef islands with beaches dotted with palm trees. The country is a member of the British Commonwealth. The nation also houses a few historical WWII sites. With a population of 11,925 and obesity rate of 51.6%, it is the 5th most obese country. Women have an average rate of 56.2% obese individuals compared to men’s 47%.

04. Marshall Islands

Average BMI: 29.6

In the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines, the Marshall Islands are a chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls. The islands are under U.S. jurisdiction. The combined estimated population of the Islands is 59,618. The obesity rate in the Marshall Islands is 52.9%. The women are on the lead with average rate of 57.3% in number of obese individuals. Men count up to a 48.4% obese population.

03. Palau

Average BMI: 29.5

Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands. The Palau Islands are part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. The population count in Palau is 18,200. 55.3% of whom are considered obese. The average obesity rate in male citizens is 51.8% while women have an average rate of 58.8. 

02. Cook Islands

Average BMI: 32.9 A nation in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands is part of New Zealand’s political system. The 15 islands of the archipelago are spread out over a large area. The nation ranked 2nd in the list with a population of 17,459 and a 55.90% Obesity rate. Women have an average rate of 59.20% and men have an average of 52.60% in Obesity rate.

01. Nauru

Nauru fitness

Average BMI: 32.5

This tiny republic is the third-smallest on earth after Vatican City and Monaco. Naura has a population of 10,873 people. With a high obesity rate of about 61.00%, it is the number one most obese country in the world. The average BMI of females in Nauru is 63.30% and for men it is 58.70%.

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