In The Race For The Fattest Country, U.S. Comes In A Close Second
I've written a few articles recently about obesity rates of adults and children in the United States. But the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), an international organization of 33 countries, recently released the latest figures on the obesity rates of all of its member countries. And the U.S. was just shy of coming in first.
Mexico beat us in the race for obesity... but only by two percentage points. Thirty percent of the Mexican population is obese, while 28 percent of Americans are obese. An obese person, as defined by OECD, is a person whose is carrying 20 percent more weight than his height and bone structure would warrant, and has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. This study did not include persons who are merely overweight.
The next five highest obesity rates following Mexico and the U.S. are all English speaking countries: 3rd - New Zealand, 4th - Australia, 5th - United Kingdom, 6th - Canada, and 7th - Ireland. So it seems that language is not all we have in common. Apparently, the United States has a big fat influence on the world.
What makes English speakers so fat? Some theorize that it's because English speakers are more influenced by the American lifestyle (you know, fast food and the like), through business communications and advertising.
And the reason Mexicans, once pretty low on the obesity scale, have gained so much weight? The theory, here again, is that since Mexico joined the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), its population has acquired the eating habits of the U.S., even to the point of inviting Del Taco to join the ranks of McDonald's and other joints to its street corners.
Gee, aren't we a great influence?
If you pick up my sarcasm, realize that it comes from concern about the fast-climbing, medically-draining costs of care for coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, respiratory problems, cancers, stroke, and not the least of all, diabetes... the greatest single cause of all these serious conditions is obesity.
The lowest obesity rates by country, released by OECD, are Japan with 3 percent obesity rate, Korea with 4 percent, Switzerland with 8 percent, Italy and Sweden with 10 percent, and France and Denmark with 11 percent. But guess what? Those countries obesity rates are on the rise.
You can find the whole list of obesity rates by country in this article.