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How fat is YOUR country - and which nations have the highest rates of obesity ?
December 9, 2017
You might think the U.S. is the most obese nation in the world - but if you do, you are wrong. Soaring rates of obesity in the Pacific Islands, nations in the South Pacific Ocean east of Australia and Fiji, have shot to the top of the worldwide obesity scale. Previously it has been theorised that Pacific Islanders are genetically predisposed to obesity. But experts now say the introduction of Western diets to the islands are to blame for the problem. American Samoa, found south of Samoa, tops the chart, with 75 per cent of the population reported as obese.
'Theories have suggested that islanders are genetically predisposed to putting on weight, but we believe this does not explain why obesity has emerged so rapidly on these islands. 'Interventions that tap into the naturally occurring social networks on the islands provide a new, and we believe more effective, way of tackling obesity.’ Bangladesh and Ethiopia came joint last on the list, with 1 per cent of people in these countries carrying too much weight. Nepal, came second to bottom, with just over 1 per cent of the population reported to be obese. In fact, the map reveals extremely low obesity rates over most of Africa and south Asia.
'And if you look at the countries where obesity and chronic disease have their strongest hold and try to understand what has been done differently in recent history - the common denominator is a massive shift in what these nations eat and drink. 'My research points the finger at highly processed, sugar-rich convenience foods and drinks lying behind all forms of chronic disease and obesity. 'In non-Western cultures, where traditional diets predominantly consist of unprocessed foods and are low in sugar, it takes only one generation of people eating a more typical Western diet, high in sugar and refined flour, to become predisposed to obesity and develop diabetes. This is true around the world from Inuit to isolated African communities. 'Considering the time and effort it would take to yield just one teaspoon of sugar from chewing on a sugar cane, highlights that the 'normal Western' consumption of sugar in the form of sweets, convenience foods and soft drinks, is frankly alarming. 'Sugar is addictive, leading to food craving and overeating - combined with the fact that highly processed foods are devoid of nutrients and as a result don't satisfy hunger. 'So, a vicious circle then develops, leading to a society that is over-fed but under-nourished. Unfortunately no additional amount of the same food will make up for the missing essential nutrients. 'And overeating leads to obesity whilst stressing the body, which in turn can lead to the onset of chronic disease.'
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