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T&T world’s ‘fifth fattest nation’

By Carla Bridglal carla.bridglal@trinidadexpress.com

Trinidad and Tobago seems to be losing the battle of the bulge.

This country is the fifth fattest nation in the world, according to a recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The UN-based organisation ranked countries based on average body mass index (BMI) using 2008 statistics.

Thirty per cent of Trinidad and Tobago’s adult population had a BMI over 30, considered obese on the scale. 

The number one country, Mexico, had 32.8 per cent of its adult population crossing the obese mark. 

Earlier this year, the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper had ranked T&T third, but had not listed its source. 

Yesterday, the Daily Mail published a new ranking, citing the FAO report. 

In April, Health Minister Fuad Khan responded to the initial report, saying he was not surprised, but since taking over his portfolio, he had been placing “a lot of emphasis on fighting obesity—fight the fat, fight the MSG (monosodium glutamate), and fight the sugar”.

About 12 per cent of the world’s total population is obese, according to the UN report.

The Caribbean, in general, did have various islands with very high percentages of populations with BMIs over 30, the report showed. 

The prevalence of obesity in the adult populations in St Kitts and Nevis was 40.9 per cent; in the Bahamas, 35 per cent; Barbados, 33.4 per cent; St Vincent and the Grenadines, 25.1; Jamaica, 24.6; St Lucia, 22.3; and at the very end of the spectrum, Haiti, with 8.4 per cent.

While Trinidad and Tobago’s adult population could do with cutting some calories, the child population could do with getting more.

The report also stated that among children, the most recent observation showed 30.4 per cent suffered with anaemia, and 7.2 per cent suffered from a Vitamin A deficiency.


Rounding out the top ten 

of the world’s fattest are:

1. Mexico   

2. United States

3. Syria

4. Venezuela; Libya

5. Trinidad and Tobago

6. Vanuatu

7.  Iraq; Argentina

8.  Turkey

9.  Chile

10. Czech Republic 

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