Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and up, categorized into tiers of Class 1 (30 to < 35), Class 2 (35 to < 40), and Class 3 (40 and up, or extremely obese). The normal range for one’s BMI is 18.5 to < 25. BMI is the definitive screening test to determine if someone is obese and is calculated in terms of a person’s weight in kilograms and height in meters.

In the United States, the average BMI is 29.1 for males and 29.6 for females, with a mean weight of 197.9 pounds and 170.6 pounds, respectively. But while these figures are bordering on alarming, it appears that the U.S. is not among the top countries with the most number of obese people—and the United Kingdom is not even part of the “most obese” list. According to the World Population Review, Micronesian country Nauru holds the position as the most obese country in the world.

Where is Nauru? This country is a small island in Micronesia, which is located northeast of Australia. According to its official website, its population has less than 10,000 inhabitants. However, 61 percent of its total number of residents has a BMI of over 30. 

Nauru is followed by Cook Islands, 55.9 percent, and then Palau, 55.3 percent. Other nations in the top 10 most obese countries are the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and Micronesia. Notice how the list does not include countries in the first world or any other major player in the global system. In fact, the U.S. ranks 12th.

On a worldwide scale, the number of obese is 2.1 million or around 30 percent of the entire population. This statistic continues to grow as unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles prevail. Around 3 million reportedly die from obesity-related diseases annually, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

While not in the top 10, obesity is considered a major problem in the UK, with speculators predicting that half of its population will be marked as obese by the year 2030. It is said to affect one-third of kids aged 2 to 15 years old and one in four adults.

In the European region, the UK is listed as the third-fattest nation, next to Malta and Turkey, according to the World Health Organization. Its obesity rate is 27.8 percent, attributed mostly to poor lifestyle choices, bad diets, and heavy drinking.