The World’s 15 Fattest Countries In 2015

15. Trinidad and Tobago: 30%

Lifelong weight risks tend to begin early. In 2010, the Caribbean food and Nutrition institute found Trinidad and Tobago’s obesity rates in primary and secondary school children approached 1 in 4. Late last year, the government took out a $110 million USD loan solely to improve childhood obesity care.
15. Trinidad and Tobago: 30%

14. Venezuela: 30.8%

Late President Hugo Chavez used to publicly tease current President Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, about his waistline. One of Chavez’s quips went that Maduro needed to lay off the submarine sandwiches.
14. Venezuela: 30.8%

13. Libya: 30.8%

Across the Arab world women are disproportionately likely to be overweight or obese. Cultural norms discourage women’s mobility, physical or otherwise, and encourage lives of sedentary binge eating. In Libya, this leaves women double the obesity rate of men.
13. Libya: 30.8%

12. Syria: 31.6%

Overweightness tends to rise steeply with age in most parts of the world; again, this is especially true for women in Arab countries. Showcasing the cultural gender-discrepancy well, research from 2008 found a staggering 81% of Syrian women between 46 and 65 qualify as obese, despite the same rate in the comparably fat US being only 24.4%.
12. Syria: 31.6%

11. United States: 31.8%

Pretty surreal going from Syria to the United States, but it’s no secret the country doesn’t stack up with comparable Western powers in some key social progress measures. Literacy and racial equality among them. But obesity may be the one struggle the US shares with such profoundly different cultures.
11. United States: 31.8%

10. Bahrain: 32.6%

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 66% of Bahrain’s adult population has a weight problem. Gender, once again, is decisive: 29.9% of boys, versus 42.4% of girls in the critical ages of 12-17 are obese.
10. Bahrain: 32.6%

9. Mexico: 32.8%

Mexican food standards dropped quickly with the introduction of processed foods in the 1980s. Low-cost meals high in calories, sugar, fat and salt replaced traditional sectors of the food economy that once relied on more preparation and balanced ingredients. Like its northern neighbor, Mexico declares obesity a national health issue.
9. Mexico: 32.8%

8. Qatar: 33.1%

The oil and natural gas superpower has become both one of the richest countries and one of the poorest in eating habits worldwide. Some estimates say up to half of the population qualifies as obese. In recent years, Qataris began developing diabetes a decade younger than they once did.
8. Qatar: 33.1%

7. South Africa: 33.5%

Sub-Saharan Africa has been mostly politicized around issues of poverty, undernourishment and communicable disease in the West. But in South Africa, strokes and heart attacks cause more than 40% of the country’s deaths. The country’s doctors say obesity will become a bigger killer than HIV and tuberculosis.
7. South Africa: 33.5%

6. United Arab Emirates: 33.7%

Overweightness in UAE, for a change, is more prominent in men than women at 66% and 60% respectively. But the country’s situation is all-too familiar: rapid Western-style commercialization wrought by oil wealth, and health attitudes that don’t adapt accordingly.
6. United Arab Emirates: 33.7%

5. Jordan: 34.3%

The sooner a woman in Middle East or North Africa marries, the sooner customs tend to restrict her active lifestyle. It’s no coincidence that 82% of 15-29 year-old women in Jordan are unemployed, and their obesity rate nearly doubles that of men.
5. Jordan: 34.3%

4. Egypt: 34.6%

Egypt’s weight problem came to fore in the 1990s. The country now comprises the world’s highest diabetes rates with its wealthy Arab neighbours, and studies find its teenagers drink three times more soda than milk. This year, Egypt defends its title as the fattest African country on the SPI.
4. Egypt: 34.6%

3. Belize: 34.9%

Belize is the most startling new addition to this year’s index. Sharing a border with Mexico, overweightness in this region of the world isn’t quite so normalized as in the Arab countries we’ve seen, and yet 34.9% of Belizeans, by some measures far more, qualify as obese.
3. Belize: 34.9%

2. Saudi Arabia: 35.2%

Forbes’ 2007 index of fattest countries ranked Saudi Arabia 29th in the world. Less than a decade later, the SPI ranks the country second. Keeping the endless pliability of stats in mind, some researchers have had cause to double this rate to 70%. They say 37% of Saudi women suffer from weight-related health problems alone.
2. Saudi Arabia: 35.2%

1. Kuwait: 42.8%

Thanks to the influx of American fast food, Kuwait has become the one of the biggest stomach-staplers in the world. Bariatric surgeries, also an American export, have exploded in popularity with over 5,000 performed in the course of a year—in a country of only 3.4 million people.
1. Kuwait: 42.8%