Which are the least obese countries in the world? Food habits have changed and for the first time in history, some countries have a surplus of food and enormous food wastage, leading to obesity. On the other side of the spectrum, there are still many countries in the world where there are famines and starvation, leading to malnutrition. Between these two are those countries where people have managed to develop a healthy food culture.
The countries with the least obesity can be either that where scarcity of food prevails or where there is a good food and exercise culture. Though obesity is spreading around the world, so is the number of underweight people, according to a Lancet study in 2014. Most of these people live in the world’s poorest countries, especially in South Asia. However, other countries have social programs that help keep weight in control, and some of the most obese countries of the world are also beginning to become aware of the problem and take steps to contain it. Countries where there is a high level of malnutrition have to deal with social issues like poverty, water shortage, lack of sanitation, and low level of education. The gender gap in some of these countries can also lead to women-specific malnutrition, in turn leading to underweight and undernourished children.
Some of the least obese countries in the world include Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Sudan. The first two countries have a well-developed healthcare system and a good food culture, while Sudan grapples with malnutrition. Sri Lanka has an excellent and free health care system, making medical facilities available to everyone. Their diet is also very healthy and includes rice, chicken, fish, and vegetables.
Indonesia too has a varied and healthy cuisine. Most Indonesians are vegetarians, which automatically helps in containing weight. They also follow a low fat and high fiber diet that includes dishes such as tofu, vegetables, and fruits. There is very little use of preservatives in the food, and most people eat at home, just like in Sri Lanka. Indonesia too has a good and accessible healthcare system. Sudan, on the other hand, does not make it to the list based on healthy living and eating. The Sudanese diet consists of large meat helpings and plenty of sugary desserts. The malnutrition is due to poverty and lack of a healthcare system. Diseases are also rampant in the country. There are more countries in our list, which has been ranked according to data from Caloribee and WHO and is based on the average BMI.