Charting the world's obesity problem

Summary:America's not the only country with weight issues.

While obesity is frequently thought of as an American problem, "globesity", as it is known, is a growing issue for countries around the world - and not only in the developed world. has compiled an information graphic, using figures from the World Health Organization, showing the average Body Mass Index (BMI) for men and women across the world. (Men are represented in blue; women in pink.) BMI is your weight divided by your height. "Normal" BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. People with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight.

Most of the countries with an average BMI in the lower-to-mid range are centered in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Countries with an average BMI in the upper-normal range include China and France.

For countries like Russia, Canada, and Brazil, the average person is overweight.

Some of the world's most overweight countries might come as a surprise: Caribbean nations like Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago rank high on the list, as do Latin American countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. But surprisingly, the U.S. does not boast the world's highest BMI. That dubious honor goes to Kuwait, with an average BMI of 29.5.

Calculate your own BMI here.


via [Co.EXIST]

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Full Bio

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