If there’s one thing the United States has excelled at, it’s super-sizing our meals and our citizens. But while we used to hold the dubious title of world’s fattest nation, we’ve recently lost our spot. Thanks to the introduction of Western goods like flour, sugar, soda and fried foods, Pacific Islanders have not just followed our lead in the weight race, but beaten us at our own game. Prepare for a shock: more than 74 percent of American Samoans are now overweight (compared to “just” 30 percent of Americans).
Experts have theorized that Pacific Islanders are predisposed to obesity, but it seems clear now that genetics alone cannot explain the spike in body mass. “The islands were colonised by Australian, American, New Zealand, British or French nations after the Second World War,” says the Daily Mail, “and the diets and social changes introduced blamed for soaring obesity rates.”
These fantastic charts from Clinic Compare that break down obesity rates around the world: