Obesity in Africa

How much of each African country’s adult population is obese?

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Map of the obesity rate in Africa.

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When it comes to obesity, Africa has some of the lowest and highest rates in the world. The bottom 25 of the world only has African and Asian countries in it. Ethiopia and Eritrea are the 8th and 10th least obese countries in the world. In the global top 25, we also find 2 African countries: Libya (16th) and Egypt (18th). The global top 10 consists completely of countries in Oceania.

We can see some very clear geographical patterns in Africa. Obesity rates are higher north of the Sahara and in Southern Africa. In Western Africa, obesity rates are still not very high, but slightly higher than Eastern Africa and the interior.

The most obese country in Africa is Libya, where 32.5% of the population is obese. Egypt comes in second, with 32% of its population being obese. South Africa is third, with 28.3%.

The lowest obesity rates can be found in Ethiopia (4.5%), Eritrea (5%), Madagascar and Uganda (5.3%).

How do these numbers compare to other countries around the world? The whole global top 10 is in the Pacific, with Nauru being the highest (61%). The highest outside the top 10 are Kuwait (37.9%) and the US (36.2%). The lowest is Vietnam, where only 2.1% of the adult population is obese.

Curious about obesity rates in other continents? I’ve made maps about obesity rates before for: Asia, Europe, South America and the US.

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