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Apr 1, 2007

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who`s the fattest of them all?

Did you know that eight of the top 10 countries with the greatest percentage of overweight people in the world are in the Pacific region? That`s according to estimates by the World Health Organization.

Nauru tops the list of 194 countries, with an alarming 94.5 percent of its adult population classified as such.

The top five countries with the fattest people are as follows:

1. Nauru
2. The Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei)
3. Cook Islands
4. Niue
5. Tonga

The WHO said 90 percent of each of these countries` population is overweight.

The CNMI and Guam were not ranked separate from the United States, which is top nine on the list. The U.S., according to the WHO, has 74.1 percent of those over 15 years old considered overweight.

The local population of the CNMI and Guam may have also ranked high on the list if they were considered separate from the U.S., given the studies done, for example, by the CNMI Department of Public Health on the number of children and adults who are obese or overweight.

Completing the top 10 list are:

6. Samoa
7. Palau
8. Kuwait
9. United States
10. Kiribati

Experts, according to Forbes Magazine, say it is not surprising that people across the globe are increasingly becoming overweight because of urbanization and the influx of Western ways of life including myriad fast food choices, little exercise and stressful jobs. (The third one doesn`t really count in the Pacific?)

“This change in lifestyle is most evident in the South Pacific. On the list of `fattest` countries, eight of the top 10 are in the Pacific region,” said Forbes Magazine. “In the last 50 years, this area has established significant economic ties with the U.S. and New Zealand, which caused a surge in Western imports and a significant change in diet.”

It pays to know something. And regardless of whether or not the CNMI and Guam are on the list, these two territories need to do more to prevent and treat obesity. While the governments have been doing education awareness campaign, they`re not enough. Local government funding for health programs, for example, is limited. Community and government officials` participation in health and fitness programs are also limited.

Others on the list:

11. Dominica
12. Barbados
13. Argentina
14. Egypt
15. Malta
16. Greece
17. New Zealand
18. United Arab Emirates
19. Mexico
20. Trinidad and Tobago


Anonymous said...

You may think that stressful jobs don't apply to the Pacific but do some research and you'll realise that current social and financial demands and the extremely high and increasing cost of living is very much outweighing individuals' income and yes this is bloody stressful and yes it goes back to how people's health and well-being are affected!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think mayyyyybe, when one meets another and you ask them "what do you do?" and they give some title (this is just an example) Associate of the Pau Pau, and you ask "oh, what do you do?" and they say "I go golfing" (This my friends is a true story and does go on hhhhhhhhhere in Saipan) People with made up positions to get salaries!!! Yes they are isolated instances and not well publisized for obvious reasons....people get bent out of shape and rightfully so as that is YOUR tax dollars doled out without consideration or labor done FOR THE PEOPLE.
Yes many jobs could be considered stressful BUT mostly if you've never had a More stressful job....like waking at 4 a.m. to travel in your care 2 hours to work and then putting in a 10 hr day and then getting in the car to drive home almost 2 more hours and then colapse after eating dinner without the kids as they have already gone to sleep and then get up in several hour and do it all over again!
Like I tell my wife "I would live with you under a bridge" and to me life is so much more than about the money but rather time spent well.

Weird Elle said...

The most bloated in the CNMI is the government itself, with many useless, unwanted positions.

lots of special assistants, advisors, consultants, secretaries, too many social workers, municipal councils, and lawmakers.

while there are many government officials and personnel whose functions are critical to keep the CNMI running, many just sit idly or play golf, show up every other Friday to get paid, etc.

Anonymous said...

it`s not a culture that indigenous residents are big; history books show their forefathers were lean. after the war, with canned goods like spam and other junk food from the US, local residents became bigger and bigger. time to change.

Anonymous said...

now i know the link between stressful job and being overweight: if i have a stressful job, i'll get stressed and i'll decide to just go home and relax,(wishing for more austerity thursday and holiday friday, you can add the typhoon as long as they will close the offices). Because eventhough i'm at home i will not lose anything. the lesser my salary, the more food stamps i will receive. So why would i work?? i'll just stay home, watch tv, eat, sleep, watch tv, eat, and sleep...

Anonymous said...

that`s sad but true -- the link between stressful job and being overweight.

add this: even if you dont work in your paper pushing job, as long as your uncle or brother or father holds a positition in gov`t you sure get paid. after all, your position isn`t necessary after all. your relatives were just trying to help you do something on your down time.

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