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Czech Republic Fattest Country in Europe

Czech Republic Fattest Country in Europe

Country has highest prevalence of obesity among adults, according to UN report

Czech Republic Fattest Country in Europe

Czech Republic Fattest Country in Europe

Country has highest prevalence of obesity among adults, according to UN report

Published 11.07.2013
Last updated 11.07.2013

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According to the State of Food and Agriculture 2013 report by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (, the Czech Republic ranks as the fattest country in Europe, based on the prevalence of obesity among adults. 28.7% of adults in the Czech Republic are considered obese based on the figures, which are dated 2008. Slovenia ranks second at 27%. 

Other notable figures: the UK clocks in at 24.9%, Slovakia rates 24.6%, and Germany 21.3%. France and Switzerland rate as the least obese nations, with 15.6% and 14.9%, respectively. Here’s the full list:

Country Prevalence of obesity among adults (%)
Czech Republic 28.7
Slovenia 27
Malta 26.6
Russian Federation 24.9
United Kingdom 24.9
Hungary 24.8
Lithuania 24.7
Slovakia 24.6
Ireland 24.5
Andorra 24.2
Bosnia & Herzegovina 24.2
Spain 24.2
Belarus 23.4
Luxembourg 23.4
Poland 23.2
Serbia 23
Latvia 22
Iceland 21.9
Montenegro 21.8
Portugal 21.6
Bulgaria 21.4
Croatia 21.3
Germany 21.3
Albania 21.1
Moldova 20.4
Macedonia 20.3
Ukraine 20.1
Finland 19.9
Norway 19.8
Belgium 19.1
Estonia 18.9
Austria 18.3
Romania 17.7
Greece 17.5
Italy 17.2
Sweden 16.6
Denmark 16.2
Netherlands 16.2
France 15.6
Switzerland 14.9

You can download the entire State of Food and Agriculture 2013 report from the website of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The obesity index can be found on page 73. 

What about global figures? Using the FOA data, a Yahoo! News report claims that the United States is no longer the world’s fattest “developed” nation – having been surpassed by Mexico.  The Czech Republic clocks in at number 12. Here’s their top 25:

Country Prevalence of obesity among adults (%)
Mexico 32.8
United States 31.8
Syria 31.6
Venezuela 30.8
Libya 30.8
Trinidad & Tobago 30
Vanuatu 29.8
Iraq 29.4
Argentina 29.4
Turkey 29.3
Chile 29.1
Czech Republic 28.7
Lebanon 28.2
New Zealand 27
Slovenia 27
El Salvador 26.9
Malta 26.6
Panama 25.8
Antigua 25.8
Israel 25.5
Australia 25.1
Saint Vincent 25.1
Dominica 25
United Kingdom 24.9
Russia 24.9

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Comment from: Venter Published: 10:13:31 21.08.2013
The obesity stats must actually come with a disclaimer because it only classifies people as overweight by virtue of their BMI (Body Mass Index). I used to be 'healthy' 72 kg male (1.82 m tall) with a BMI of 22, which is excellent according to current guidelines. The truth is I did not exercise enough and I did not feel that good about myself. Now 2 years down the line I weigh 90 kg, (i.e. overweight, bordering obese according to these guidelines) but in truth I have been exercising really hard during these past two years and I completely cut unhealthy food and drinks from my diet. I only have 12% body fat at present and I am in the shape of my life, yet I'm classified as being overweight. Once I reach my target of 95 kg (10% body fat) I'll be officially obese.
Comment from: Published: 05:48:47 19.08.2013
Yes, you can still get fat if you eat too much of healthy food and have no movement. However, people will indeed get fatter if they eat preservative laden foods. Those chemicals they use in the preservative process build up in your system over time.
Comment from: jezovec Published: 10:30:42 14.08.2013
@staringatthesun: yes, I am well aware that Paul pastries are just "finished" there from pre-prepared... this is why they are actually better, fresher, not like the ones in an ordinary "bakery" that sells its 5:30am supply the whole day. I'm not a big fan of Paul, but this is a matter of facts. And how this means that Paul is a "fast food joint"? If "freshness" is the differentiator, then 95% of establishments in Europe are "fast food joints".... You get no freshly roasted coffee, gound seconds before used in any cafe except few boutiques, most knedlik and broth are pre-prepared, no restaurant make its butter from fresh milk anymore, ditto pre-made pork knees, &c. And how the "freshness" relates to overweight or slim people? You can get rather fatty from eating products of a freshly slaughtered pig, despite drining local, fresh, non-pasteurised, non-filtered beer and home-made slivovice with it....
Comment from: ConfusedMan Published: 09:46:57 14.08.2013
@jdlestina: You girlfriend " commented on how the men have nice butts."? Just when I thought I had already read the most clumsiest things already.
Comment from: Published: 03:04:33 14.08.2013
@jezovec You do realize that none of the stuff in Paul is fresh. The bread, vegetables, meat, and cheese already come pre-done. They're just warming things up. It's essentially a slightly more expensive Subway with "frenchy" decor and music.
Comment from: jezovec Published: 06:57:32 14.08.2013
"Paul" a "fast food joint".... ahahaha....
Comment from: Published: 06:01:23 13.08.2013
Sounds like total BS to me. I lived in the C.R. for almost 4 years and was always surprised how fit most people were. So many people I knew were sports fanatics.
Comment from: Published: 12:28:12 13.08.2013
Sounds like total BS to me. I lived in the C.R. for almost 4 years and was always surprised how fit most people were. So many people I knew were sports fanatics.
Comment from: Published: 11:11:19 12.08.2013
Again, you guys are creating generalizations based on what you see in the center of the most wealthy city in the country. @unclearpathy you're comparing a capital city to some hick, backwoods town in the states. Of course there are more fast food joints in North America. Most of these chains originated in North America. By European standards there are a lot of fast food shops in Czech Republic. When I was in Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Italy I didn't see near the amount of places per capita as I did here.
jdlestina(Guest) Published: 12:41:27 12.08.2013
I just visited the CR for the first time and found that the Czechs are generally very trim and attractive people. Even my girlfriend commented on how the men have nice butts. It seemed to me that most of the obese people I encountered where either Russians, or my fellow Americans. I'm about 10 kilos overweight and am generally considered trim compared to USA standards. I felt self conscious for having a jelly belly when I walked around Prague. This was not normal for Americans twenty years ago. I suspect it is something in modern processed food that has caused this world wide increase.
Comment from: Published: 10:22:07 23.07.2013
Well I actually live in Stare Mesto and and there are fast food places, but I can count them on two hands, which, in comparison to Montreal (where I grew up), is an insanely small amount. You just named the most popular, central touristy street in Prague, so yeah you're going to find a couple of Mcdonald's and Starbucks (which is a coffee place btw) and KFC's, but the number in comparison to ANY neighborhood in Montreal is tiny. That's all I'm saying. I guess you would really be surprised at how disgusting our lifestyles are back home, and how fat North Americans are!! P.S. to witness the most absolutely obese people, the highest number of them in a concentrated area, visit the walmart off the highway right outside of Plattsburgh NY, unbelievable, I will nevr 4get what I've seen (not that I think you're out to witness these sort of things ;) ahoj
Comment from: Published: 03:44:25 22.07.2013
No fast food joints in CR? Do you not live in a city? In Vaclavske Namesti alone there's two McDonalds, two Starbucks, KFC, Burger King and Paul. Maybe your coworkers eat healthy, but let's not kid ourselves that there isn't a ton of fast food here.
Comment from: Published: 09:20:59 21.07.2013
Wow I am in complete shock, to je nesmysl ! One of the first things I noticed about Czech people was how fit they are in comparison to the robust looking folks in my hometown of Montreal. I also noticed how there's barely any fast food joints, and how the Czechs walk wayyyy more than any Canadian I know (on a day to day basis). In Montreal a typical weekend consists of, basically, not moving, whereas Czechs seem to use they're weekends as time to 'enjoy the nature', which usually involves a lot of physical activity. Wtf man, wtf. My coworkers here in Prague eat/follow a beautifully balanced diet compared to the shit diet my coworkers ate back home, you can't even imagine. With that said I think the czechs are a pretty good looking people and enjoy life and nature and all the good stuff! Dobrou Chut!
Comment from: Published: 10:41:13 19.07.2013
@DowntownMan: Can I join you as long as I can shed the weight and pick up the gold here :-)
Comment from: DowntownMan Published: 11:14:25 18.07.2013
I would go down to a BMI of 10.
Comment from: Published: 06:39:48 18.07.2013
Is it me or did Ciaran Kelly just scored over 30! If yes, you're one of those that made CR the fattest country in Europe :-) By the way, I scored 23.4 yeeeepeee, time for another round of pivo!
Comment from: Published: 03:39:35 18.07.2013
OH!!! That BMI index tells lies! Filth! Utterly False!!!!
Comment from: hroch Published: 01:32:50 18.07.2013
Simple way to calculate your own BMI online: Score over 30 & you are classified as obese.
Comment from: DowntownMan Published: 11:27:06 18.07.2013
@jldm: You are right about my issue with the title used by It looks like someone from the Prague Post thought of it. However, for the many comments like "this report is BS, etc..", I read more comments like "I sat next to a fat lady on the tram so the report IS accurate". This whole thread of comments is quite common in terms of put-down of Czechs on (see other thread : "smelly Czechs"). I am surprised that the very old "sandals and socks" did not resurface this year. "Smelly Czechs", "Sandals and socks" and now "Fattest Europeans": I am sure this Trifecta made a few posters creamed their jeans. Rant over.
Comment from: Published: 09:16:02 18.07.2013
@Curus10: there's a first time for everything :-) @DowntownMan: OK, and what? It seems to me that you are really taking issue with the title of this article, which is entirely's (not really correct) characterization of the study's findings, and not the study itself. Go look at some of the comments, though - "this survey is complete BS", "this report does not ring true," etc - the first several comments questioned the survey itself based on their incredible ability to measure societal obesity levels with their own two eyes without even trying to understand what the survey was measuring.
Comment from: DowntownMan Published: 12:51:29 18.07.2013
The report from the FAO describes obese as a BMI of 30 or more. The BMI uses weight/height regardless of the composition of the weight (muscle -vs- fat). I am not saying that Czechs are all Mr. Universe. Just that BMI is not an accurate measure. Also, the report considers obese a BMI over 30 but it doesn't show the distribution of the BMI values. If 28.7% of Czechs had a BMI of 30-32 and 24.9% of U.K. had a BMI of 38-40, who would we say are fatter ?
Comment from: Published: 05:09:45 17.07.2013
@ brodeur: If the clarifications you provided are correct then my argument is completely defeated, please accept my concession to your superior argument :-)
Comment from: Published: 09:09:30 16.07.2013
@Curus10: I suspect you and I are disagreeing about the definition of obese. I agree that there is less morbid obesity, or super obesity, or "time to go on the Biggest Loser," or whatever you want to call it, in the Czech Republic than in the U.S. (or probably U.K.). The UN study is not measuring morbid obesity, though - it is just measuring obesity, which probably means anyone with a BMI of over 30. Measured like this, it's not a surprise at all to me that the Czech Republic is the "most obese" country in Europe -- look around you on the metro/tram/bus at women who are about 45-65 years old and tell me how many of them are not well overweight. There are other groups in the Czech Republic who also have a clear propensity for being overweight, but that middle age female group is the most obvious one to me in Prague.
Comment from: Published: 02:46:49 15.07.2013
@brodeur: I am not a fan of CR but when it comes to obesity, I beg to disagree with the UN that the UK ranked better than CR! You don't need to go to a village in my beloved UK to see obesity, its everywhere. The fact that we need to go to a CR village before we can see the obese people in CR by itself as claimed by some shows that the problem is limited here.
Comment from: Published: 12:51:56 15.07.2013
Yeah, you guys must be right. I'm sure the U.N. has it in for the nasty Czechs. I wouldn't say it exactly like Staringatthesun has, but some of these comments are just incredible. @ConfusedMan, I don't know about you, but I think that most intelligent people would attribute the phenomenon of less obesity in major cities to a combination of among other things: demographics, better personal fitness habits and access to parks and recreational facilities, more walking on a daily basis, and higher disposable income to spend on quality food. This is not a Czech thing - go to New York City or any university town in the U.S. and you would never believe that one-third of Americans are obese.
Comment from: ConfusedMan Published: 12:22:08 15.07.2013
OK let me get this straight: So the reason ALL these fat people are only found in smaller villages (and not seen in Prague) is because when someone gets fat, they are moved/forced to leave Prague (or how else do you explain this logic?). OK my friends and I are planning on visiting some of these small villages (with a stop in every supermarket) to find these fat people. One thing I know for sure is that when you visit countries with higher amount of fat people, you do not need to go to any specific area to find them; rather they are everywhere.
Comment from: Published: 12:06:54 15.07.2013
well I am not czech, still as i said i lived in some countries, if one thing is obvious, than its that out of these 4 european countries, in CR the people are active and dont see fat people all over the place (not even in the countryside in Tescos) and I visited countryside plenty of times in each countries, this was basicly my favourite activity to see those countries (still doing it, last time i was in Ricany and stopped at Spar). back in 2006 i read another survey, before i left to work in a country ( I deliberately dont name them) that the quality of life was second best in the world. So i left that country because of the poor quality of life 4 years later, without losing my job or anything. I dont believe in surveys since then... only what i experience. my homecountry finished better than CR, we have more fat people there believe me :)
Comment from: Published: 12:27:18 15.07.2013
The level of butt-hurt in these comments is amazing. Is it really that surprising that a nation that drinks, smokes and eats like CR has an obesity problem? I'd actually be interested to see the breakdown of obesity by gender. I'm guessing there's one gender here that's severely tips the scale for the total numbers.
Comment from: Published: 09:59:41 14.07.2013
I live in Prague 7, no fat people at all, where are they? I did not know there were bus tours organised to a nearby city or a Tesco to observe obese people....
Comment from: Published: 01:51:52 14.07.2013
The comments here are f-ing amazing. It must be a UN conspiracy because I never see any obese people walking around Prague 1-2. By that logic, NYC is representative of the entire US. As others have already said, take a bus to any other city and you'll see obese people all over the place. Also, if Czechs don't want fast food in their country then tell the government to stop granting permits to these businesses.
Comment from: Published: 09:52:03 13.07.2013
Funny, i lived in 4 different countries in my life so far, but people in CR are by far the fittest, in my opinion. on the other hand i am not a UN employee who put together this report quickly and run for lunch...
Comment from: hroch Published: 04:10:42 12.07.2013
Its true - leave the centre of Prague and go to the suburbs or any small town / village & watch the many locals waddling out of their nearest Kaufland, Lidl or Pennymarkt & loading their cars with lots of crap food & crates of beer! 28.7% are obese, 71.3% are not...
Comment from: Macmoto Published: 02:42:46 12.07.2013
This report does not ring true at all , I lived in Prague for almost half a year , and when I came back to the UK the very first thing that I noticed after being away for a while , was the staggering number of fat and I mean REALLY FAT people I saw everywhere on the streets of the UK .Compared to anywhere else in Europe I just did not notice many Fat Czechs at all .
Comment from: Published: 01:15:27 12.07.2013
If this is what force feeding looks like, then I know a place not far from Europe where a lot of folks will be happy to be force fed this way! C'on, nobody is forcing anyone into McD or KFC. Its a personal choice.
Comment from: ducaticanine Published: 11:03:37 12.07.2013
Force feeding??? Are u joking? People are fat cuz they simply make poor choices. No one is forcing them to do anything..
Comment from: ConfusedMan Published: 10:22:09 12.07.2013
It just seems to me like the UN (read the USA) is just sticking it to the Czech people even though they (UN) are the ones who keep force-feeding the Czechs with MCDon, KFC, Starbucks, Burger Kings and what have you? Not the way to go the USA!!!
Comment from: Published: 08:13:43 12.07.2013
Are you guys just not paying attention or do you never venture outside of the center of Prague? Get on a bus at any metro station with connections to the suburbs, go to any Tesco other than the one on Narodni, really go anywhere except the city centers of the major cities, and you'll see plenty of obese people. It's no surprise given how the average Honza/Jana eats and drinks, and it seems to me that it is getting progressively worse.
Comment from: Published: 07:49:50 12.07.2013
Dwight(Guest) Published: 07:46:36 12.07.2013
From my experience/observations, this doesn't ring true...
Comment from: Published: 12:37:49 12.07.2013
This survey is complete BS. I have seen about two fat people in the CR since I've been here! Czech women are mostly really slim. And the Czechs as a whole seem to be sports crazy...hiking, cycling skiing etc. The UK is full of fatties. Adults and children.
Skye(Guest) Published: 09:00:09 11.07.2013
This is an article about adult obesity and not overweight nor children or adolescent obesity/overweight. There could be more overweight adults/children in the UK than in the CR, and that is why overall it seems like there are more fit people in the CR compared with the UK.
Comment from: Published: 06:26:06 11.07.2013
How can UK rank better than Czech Republic in obesity?! That is a complete BS and am sure GAZZA will agree with me on this :D I see more active and fit people in CR in a day than I see for months in UK!