According to the WHO, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. The numbers reflected in statistical data have grown as obesity sweeps the globe. Obesity has impacted more than one-third of the United States population alone.
Studies often look at obesity statistics to determine how countries around the globe rank for being unhealthy. However, obesity alone is not a means of measuring overall health. Recently, Clinic Compare (UK) did a study on 179 countries using three parameters:
Prevalence of obesity
All three of these factors have their own equally serious set of health-related risks.
Most of the Eastern European countries made it to the list for their drinking and smoking. While Americans, Canadians, and the Oceania region came out as one of the “fattest countries in the world” due to their high obesity rates.
Here are the Top 10 Unhealthiest Countries in the World
10a. The United States of America
The United States is tied with Lithuania for the 10th position due to its obesity problems and because the U.S. has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Over half of Americans are affected by obesity as well as obesity-related illnesses and diseases.
All the processed high-fructose corn syrup and fast foods are showing in people’s waistlines and in mortality rates as obesity is of the leading causes of preventable deaths.
Tied with the United States, Lithuanians are consuming 18.2 liters of alcohol each year on average, per person. This amount is the highest amount of alcohol consumed in the top 10 countries on the list.
Luxembourg residents are at risk of death due to harmful behaviors like smoking and drinking. In addition, nearly 25% of the population is obese.
Poland is yet another Eastern European country to make the list. On average, each resident smokes 1,369 cigarettes per year and drinks 12.3 liters of pure alcohol.
Croatia has one of the unhealthiest countries in the world with an average consumption of 13.6 liters of alcohol per person on a yearly basis. They rank 8th in the most obese countries with 56% of their population being overweight or obese.
Hungary is home to stunning architecture, but even this beautiful place has it’s health issues. Each person smokes 1,774 cigarettes per year on average, placing Hungary at number 6 on the list.
Slovakia has about 27% of their population documented as obese. Residents of Slovakia are also ranked as the 9th highest consumers of alcohol.
The landlocked country of Belarus comes in 4th place for alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Slovenia residents are smoking a staggering 2,637 cigarettes each year on average (the 6th biggest consumers of tobacco).
Russian Federation (Russia), located in Eurasia, is the largest country by the surface in the world. It also is the 9th most populous. Russia came in 2nd place on the list, with some of the most unhealthy residents on the planet. On average, they drink 13.7 liters of alcohol and smoke 2,690 cigarettes each person a year. 30% of all deaths in Russia are alcohol-related.
1. The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is the unhealthiest country in the world, with nation’s citizens emerging as some of the heaviest drinkers. Each person drinks 13.7 liters ( the equivalent of 550 shots) of alcohol per year on average.
Buried in the heart of Central Europe, the Czech Republic has Europe’s best beer. Over the generations, beer has evolved from a heavy and thick to a lighter refreshing beverage. After communism ended for the Czech people, a big part of their newly won freedom is the freedom to enjoy drinking their beer. Beer is consumed with a sense of ownership. Beer halls are an integral part of the city and a place for people to socialize with good conversation and friendship.
Unhealthy vs Obese
All three of these factors have their own equally serious set of health-related risks. Let’s have a look at some of these risks.
What are the Risks of Alcohol Consumption?
Moderate consumption of alcohol has its health benefits and drawbacks, however, heavy drinking is detrimental to one’s health. Some negative effects associated with large amounts of alcohol are the increased risk of:
Chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism are also major risks capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body.
Note: The relationship between alcohol and weight is not yet resolved conclusively. But from what has been conducted so far, few studies show weight loss from drinking in comparison to how many show weight gain.
What are the Risks of Smoking?
Cigarette smoking has detrimental effects on one’s health. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, outranking HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents combined, causing 9 out of 10 deaths brought on by lung cancer. Smoking also causes an increased risk of several life-threatening health issues such as:
Coronary heart disease (2 to 4 times increase in risk)
Stroke (2 to 4 times increase in risk)
Lung cancer (25 times increase in men, 25.7 times increase in women)
Obesity is measured by Body Mass Index (BMI), a formula that divides weight by height. An ideal BMI for adults is under 25. BMI of higher than 25 is considered overweight while a BMI of over 30 is considered obese. Obesity can cause health-related problems like:
The social stigma of being “fat” and how it affects all aspects of life, including sex life, are also important to note.
COVID-19 magnified the global obesity problems
Unhealthy Countries vs Healthiest Countries
According to research, Afghanistan was reported as the healthiest country with a 2.7% obesity rate. On the other hand, Samoa is ranked first for obesity with 41.6% of the population being obese. The Czech Republic is the unhealthiest country in the world, mainly due to their alcohol consumption.
The United Kingdom came 19th on the list overall as Britons (British people) are the 9th heaviest drinkers in the world. Canada was placed 14th for its 30% obesity rate.
While alcohol, smoking, and obesity are a big risk to everybody’s health, they are not all that we should look out for. Our overall health is affected by a large array of factors including:
Physically active vs sedentary lifestyle
But this definitely does bring to light just how serious a risk different lifestyle habits, not just obesity, can place your health and life at serious risk.
Overview: According to research, Afghanistan was reported as the healthiest country with a 2.7% obesity rate. On the other hand, Samoa is ranked first for obesity with 41.6% of the population being obese. The Czech Republic is the unhealthiest country in the world, mainly due to their alcohol consumption. The United Kingdom came 19th on the list overall as Britons are the 9th heaviest drinkers. Canada was placed 14th for its 30% obesity rate.
Mexico Bariatric Center's Founder and CEO, Ron Elli, Ph.D. has been in Medical Tourism Bariatrics and Plastics since early 2007. Dr. Elli is a pioneer in the Mexico Weight Loss Surgery field. Ron has published numerous articles in Global Healthcare and has been informing patients in U.S. and Canada through bariatric seminars and webinars.