While we’re eating our burgers, French fries and pizzas, we’re not even aware that we’re encouraging the obesity epidemic, or should we say pandemic, because it has spread all around the globe. Obesity has become one of the biggest problems of our age and the situation just keeps getting worse.
And who seems to be at fault?
Fast food chains, apparently. Restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC have taken over the world and are luring people in, spreading obesity like a virus. Let’s take a look at some of the fattest countries in the world in 2015.
5. United States
America may not be the fattest country in the world but it’s in the very top. Year in and year out, it always stays among the most obese countries and even though we have done a ton of advertising to promote healthier lifestyles, it doesn’t seem to have any effect. Besides, it is from here that the most popular fast food chains have originated. So, what are the numbers?
In the US, 31.8% of people are obese. And having one third of the population overweight is hardly a joke. Annual medical costs of the obese population have been estimated at $147 billion USD on a nationwide level. And we could put that money to much better use.
Our Southern neighbors have surpassed us in numbers with 32.8% of its population being obese. Mexico proclaimed obesity a national health issue and started taking measures to deal with it. Interestingly, obesity is actually a relatively new problem for Mexico. It has spread in the late 80s with the introduction of processed foods into the food market. This means food that costs less but contains much more fat and sugar, and therefore more calories.
This brings the socioeconomic factors to the surface – lower income means consuming cheaper, processed food. Child obesity is also a big problem in Mexico. More and more children are becoming morbidly obese, which poses a serious threat to their health.
Do you remember the saying “You must eat everything off your plate because there are children in Africa starving!” Well, in many African countries that’s true, but Egypt shows the opposite situation – 34.6% of people in this country are obese. And just like in Mexico, this problem has appeared recently, in the 90s, to be more precise.
The reasons are mostly social. One is the fact that junk food is available at every corner. Children in Egypt drink three times more soda than milk. Food is also at the center of every celebration and social gathering as an important part of Egyptian culture. And another thing is that, in Egypt, obese women are considered more attractive.
2. Saudi Arabia
For the top 2 fattest countries, we are moving to the Middle East.
Obesity has become a pretty serious problem in Saudi Arabia, so much that it is one of the main causes of preventable deaths. Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are becoming a serious issue with 35.2% of population being obese, most of it being women.
The main reason for this is the culture and lifestyle of the people in this country. For example, fast food is extremely popular and people are very inactive. On the other hand, women can’t lead an active lifestyle even if they wanted to, as their cultural and religious beliefs require of them to stay at home and forbid them from going to gyms or exercising publicly.
When it comes to obesity, there are some seriously alarming numbers coming from Kuwait. It is estimated that 42.8% of people are obese. But even more shocking is that 80% of women in this country are either obese or overweight. One of the main factors again is the sedentary lifestyle that is an even bigger threat to women for cultural reasons. But also, junk food has become increasingly more popular than traditional food.
This leads to the consumption of more saturated fats, oil and sugar with little or no exercise. More and more children suffer from diabetes because they are exposed to fast food, candy and sodas every day, even at schools. The situation doesn’t look good, and it’s only getting even worse.