Top 10 Countries Celebrating Female Obesity


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide:  According to a 2011 World Health Organization study, 1 in 9 people are obese and the trend is ever-expanding.  Despite a myriad of concomitant health concerns, excessive fatness continues to be embraced by many countries as a sign of health, wealth and happiness.  The following list explores the top ten countries which celebrate heftiness, particularly in females, along with the historical and cultural influences which shape this love of large.

10. Tonga

In the small South Pacific island of Tonga, beauty is marked by large physical size.  This coupled with a reliance on fatty, nutrient-deficient imported foods and a decrease in activity has caused the nation to embrace obesity.  About 100,000 of the island’s 114,000 adult inhabitants are overweight.  According to several studies released in 2004 by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, Tongans are genetically predisposed to be fat.  The predilection toward feminine obesity also appears to be rooted in heredity and custom.

9. Kuwait

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Middle Eastern Kuwait is not only home to rich oil deposits in the land but some in its people.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and 52% of Kuwaiti

women over 15 are obese.  Historically, these nomadic desert people came to prize fatness as a sign of health and wealth–a trend which clearly continues to this day.  In a country where women exercising is a taboo, wives are frequently prized as decorative items to fill up the house: the bigger, the more opulent.

8. Fiji

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As its leaders strove to connect the once-isolated island with the rest of the world, Fiji unwittingly introduced new calorie-dense food into its diet.  This South Pacific nation’s customs revolve around the giving of food as a sign of prosperity.  This, coupled with insufficient education about health risks, has left the vast majority of Fiji overweight.  Not only are they fat, they are happy.  Girth has long been revered in a woman as a sign of health, wealth and fertility.

7. Jamaica

With nearly 65% of Jamaican females classified as obese, the ideal beach body is nearly twice its medically-appropriate size.  In this island nation particular emphasis is placed on generous hips and hindquarters, a condition known as steatopygia.  A 1993 study conducted in rural Jamaica associated thinness with sadness but heaviness with happiness, kindness and social harmony.  There is also a burgeoning pill market which caters to young women desiring to gain weight.

6. Samoa

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Since the country abandoned its South Pacific taro and fish diet for processed foods following WWII, body mass has been on the rise in Samoa.  Nonetheless, obesity is not a recent phenomenon there:  Food shortages have plagued the natives for centuries and biological anthropologists believe Samoans are genetically programmed to store extra calories in fat tissue.  Because this natural proclivity produces a generally larger population, heavy women are simply the norm and therefore embraced.

5. South Africa

Due to the prevalence of AIDS, the association between weight loss and illness has contributed to South Africa’s negative view of thinness.  The centuries-old correlation between higher weight and higher wealth was not overcome by the post-Apartheid introduction of European size ideals.  Large women continue to be favored as their heft lends insight into both their health and financial status.

4. Afghanistan

For centuries, plump Afghani women have been prized for their stark contrast to the barren environment.  Female fertility is highly associated with excess pounds among these nomads eking out survival in the desert sand.  For the most part, burquas conceal the exact terrain of a woman’s body but a chubby face with soft features is highly desired.

3. Tahiti

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The French Polynesian island of Tahiti was home to the native practice of ha’apori.  Literally meaning “to fatten,” young women were plumped and presented to the chief for beauty and fertility inspection.  The celebration of obesity continues to this day, due in part to a diet rich in carbohydrates and coconut milk.  Tahitian women continue to be revered for their rounded faces and bodies.

2. Nauru

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Not only is Nauru known for the highest rate of diabetes in the world at 31%, it is renowned for its universal embrace of obesity.  This tiny South Pacific island’s 14,000 population associates corpulence with beauty and fertility– women are fattened in preparation for childbearing and men for strength competitions.  The phosphate deposits which cover the vast majority of the island prohibit large scale farming.  Importation of fresh produce continues to be cost-prohibitive so mostly cheap, fattening foods are brought in from New Zealand and Australia.

1. Mauritania

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In this drought-ridden west African nation, female obesity is synonymous with beauty and wealth.  Though less common, “gavage” (borrowed from the French to describe fattening a goose’s liver destined for foie gras) is still practiced, with young girls imbibing vast qualities of fatty camel milk daily.  Women unable to pack on the pounds at fat farms routinely take antihistamines and animal steroids to induce appetite.  Exercise is frowned upon and women are frequently divorced for their inability to sustain excessive girth after childbirth.

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  1. Ah. I looked up which countries value fat women to see where I should vacation. It isn’t that I’m fat or anything. It is just a lot of work maintaining an “acceptable” figure. Which I don’t have. I like food. I developed bulimia at a young age because of society being well. Society. I was 8. It continued till I was 18. Then I started having severe issues.
    It wasn’t easy to quit. And now that I have been clean for about a year I just want to be happy. Live in a society that isn’t obsessed and cruel. Raise a daughter one day in a place that won’t make her damn miserable. Then to read all the backlash in the comments? Ugh. Apparently the entire world is cruel. Idk why they are either. I like chubby guys. The ones with big teddy bear physiques. That is my preference. I do not like skinny guys. But I’d never make them feel like poop for it. Simply because it is wrong and mean to make someone feel insecure. There’s someone for everyone. I wish I could drop the insecurity with how I look. But that is part of my disease. I’ll never be happy with myself. And damn straight I am blaming society for preying on women where little girls hear. A lot of people need reality checks. Think to yourself for a second. How did you end up on this article? You know my reason. So what’s yours?

  2. UWI in 2003 which suggest that women like me are the ideal for the typical Jamaican man and guess what? I am 5’9″ and weigh 205lbs. SO THERE!

    Anyway they real pount is Jamaican men like you somewhat fleshy but not obese!

  3. OMG I am a bit lat e for the party but Tee, you must live in Kingston and go nowhere else in Jamaica! Yes there is a pill calloed Fowl (chicken) Pill that girls in teh country and the ghetto take to gain weight; but it’s jsut to be phat in the right palces liek the boobs and butt. Further more country men like there women msotly on gthe fleshy side, while Kingston men want them slim because it is more socially acceptable when u are moving uo the corporate ladder to have your lady thin.

    Indeed it only people int he citytown areas liek Kingston Montego Bay and Ocho Rios that are tring to lose themselves at the gym in a bid to keep up eith the mythical Joneses. Pount in fact, there was a research done on Jamaica Sexuality @

  4. Hey,I’m from Kuwait and no one like fat chicks. It’s true that we have more obese people than before but doesn’t mean that we like it
    “exercising is taboo” seriously
    Get your facts checked

  5. Whatever! I’m Kuwaiti and believe me I don’t think there is anywhere in the world where fat is beautiful!
    It is so funny how everyone keeps on referring to us as nomadic desert people cause we aren’t! we don’t live in tents and ride camels! I don’t know where these people get their info from! Its just hilarious.. ” Exercising is taboo” haha

  6. Greatmoments on

    Historically, nomadic desert people came to prize fatness as a sign of health and wealth–a trend which clearly continues to this day. In a country where women exercising is a taboo, wives are frequently prized as decorative items to fill up the house: the bigger, the more opulent

  7. The phosphate deposits which cover the vast majority of the island prohibit large scale farming. Importation of fresh produce continues to be cost-prohibitive so mostly cheap, fattening foods are brought in from New Zealand and Australia

  8. Travelaroundindia on

    The centuries-old correlation between higher weight and higher wealth was not overcome by the post-Apartheid introduction of European size ideals. Large women continue to be favored as their heft lends insight into both their health and financial status

  9. South Africans DO NOT celebrate female obesity! Charlize Theron,Candice Swanepoel and Behati Prinsloo(Victoria’s secret’s angels) ring a bell to you? Your ignorance shines through.

  10. To the person who made the comment about “taxing for your fat”. Seriously? Really? I think you need to get over yourself. Same to the person who said that women who are “going on about their curves and saying they are beautiful when they are fat”. Why the attack? Women are being constantly bombarded from all sides by people telling them they need to be stick thin. We don’t need you to do it too. Hey, you can eat that pizza…but you better throw it up after! I know WAY too many girls who are either anorexic or bulimic. My sister just had a baby, and she hates herself now. She is obsessed with going to the gym to try to work it all off immediately and it’s practically killing her. Society needs to get a grip on reality. I am a healthy, normal sized woman, and I STILL look in the mirror and think “Oh, my stomach isn’t flat enough”. I need to lose weight. If I could take every Vogue and Victoria Secret magazine and have a big ol’ bonfire with it, I would. Oh, and by the way, I happen to know a few women who are very curvy and it looks GOOD on them. That being said, I agree with everyone who has said you should be a healthy weight. You should exercise and eat right. But women who have just had babies, and women that are naturally curvy, shouldn’t have to feel like crap about themselves because of people that make petty, nasty comments.

  11. “Hey, how about we tax you for your fat?” “Pet peeve?” You certainly sound aggressive and hateful with your comment. In fact, you sound like one of those stuck up girls I went to school with who picked on any/everyone who looked slightly different from them.. You shouldn’t judge or make fun of anyone for their outward appearance. You never know what you may look like years from now, or tomorrow for that matter. Anything could happen.
    Btw, who’s indulgences are you paying for? No one chooses to be fat, and people who are actually obese (not just 20 or so pounds over weight..) and seeing a doctor about it are usually suffering from problems that cause them to gain weight so much/fast that they can’t control it. That mental picture you probably have of the overweight stereotype isn’t necessarily correct.. Overweight people don’t just sit around all day and eat or whatever. It’s unfair for a person to automatically assume that because they aren’t as small as you think they should be, that they just sit around lazing and stuffing their faces. It’s just genetic for some people to be more prone to weight gain than others no matter what.
    Not everyone is gonna be supermodel skinny or health-instructor fit. If you seriously have a “pet peeve” about obesity/chubbiness you really need to get over it, it’s very ignorant and close-minded to think that way. A person is a person regardless of the way they look.

  12. I happen to LIVE in Jamaica and the guys like skinny yea they like big hips and big butts but you gotta have a flat stomach to go with it. TRUST me. Jamaica doesnt deserve to be on this list

  13. wow! I find some of the writing in this article very racist, next time give the facts and skip the unnecessary mumbo jumbo, this is not a commentary article or your own personal blog! Im not even from those countries and I find it…so offensive…not cool
    .I do not believe these countries celebrate obesity but they do find curvy women (big hips butt and breasts) attractive. I mean, after all, who doesnt want an hourglass figure? It is definitely genetics as well, people of color are just more voluptuous then us whiteys. It also has something to do with fertility. I know plenty of people from kuwait and jamaica who have 10 or 11 children! I am from Russia where most women are very skinny, not because they want to be, but because they can not afford to eat nutritious food. The weather is horrible 9 months out of the year and unless you have money you dont get to enjoy food. I see why women who are very large are looked at as wealthier, that has actually been the way the entire world thought before the age of TOO MUCH FOOD. did you know only 10% of the worlds population has excess food, and 70% has little to no food, basically starving! that ten percent being countries like America and most of Europe….. think about that before you judge these countries.

  14. Not surprised to see Mauritania as #1 for female obesity. I worked for the Peace Corps there 1978-1980. The common statement there was “your wife isn’t big enough unless you can lie on her belly and you feet don’t touch the ground”. The belief that a fat wife showed you were rich enough to keep your women well fed.
    Girls were force fed Lait caille- sweetened slightly soured camel’s milk – starting around 12 to marriage age, around 16-17.
    The death rate in childbirth was horrendous because mom can’t push the baby out through the fat squeezed birth canal. Women died in their early 40’s if not in the teens.
    My houseboy knew of a woman who was so fat she couldn’t leave the room she was i – they had to install a toilet and a shower ion hr room to accomodate her. I didn’t go to her funeral but Diallo (my houseboy) described a coffin that looked like 2 coffins sort of wired together!

  15. The U.S.A does have a lot of obese people, but I think the reason why it’s not on this list is because it is nowhere near celebrated. Fat people are seen as disgusting, even if you’re only say, 20 pounds over-weight. The only people who celebrate it here are those women who say “I’m big and beautiful” which isn’t many.

  16. Ick. Stop eating cheeseburgers and sitting on your rump girls, why celebrate diabetes, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke & heart problems, etc etc etc…plus fat is just grosse. Quick fixes and fad diets aren’t the answer. Eat well, exercise, drink water…stop making excuses for your supposed “curves” and get healthy and fit. Lord knows in my country, our health care system is overrun with obesity-related problems, hey, how about we tax you for your fat? Why should I pay for your indulgences??? Okay, my little rant is over. Pet peeve – NOBODY should celebrate obesity.

  17. well i live in jamaica and that is not true. it may have been true about 10 yrs ago but now ppl are starting to live healthier lifestyles and being obese is not considered attractive. we celebrate when women are not stick thin and have a curvier shape but not when they r obese.

  18. I think it is an individual situation. I’m a big beautiful woman, I have been to Jamaica, Tahiti, and South Africa. I was hit on in all three places. Some men more persistent than others, however I don’t think any of these locations boast men that see a heavier woman and automatically desire her. It’s How someone carries themselves, how they interact with others, confidence, radiance. I maybe a big woman but I have never, ever had a problem attracting men. In the US or elsewhere. Id also like to add that i was treated wonderfully in each of these locations. People were kind, gracious, and welcoming. Everyone has preference. I’d also like to point out that the term “obese” is used very loosely. My sister who is 5’8 190lbs is considered obese by her doctor, yet teaches spin class, and yoga, as well as players indoor ice hockey 3 nights a week. This is not a medical article.
    Like I mentioned above, everyone has preference, and sure maybe some cultures are more accepting of certain qualities/ traits than others. I think this article was merely pointing out places that are the more accepting cultures. Certainly not saying EVERY person in these places IS this.

  19. The information in this article regarding Samoa is false. Primarily, this article should be supported by thorough research with references to legitimate studies that specifically states that “Samoa celebrates female obesity”, which clearly had not been conducted in the first instance judging from all the comments above. It is obvious that Samoa made this list due to assumptions derived predominantly from obesity statistics alone with no thorough research on historical and cultural influences. I assure you that if such research were conducted in the first place then Samoa would not be mentioned at all.

    To set the records straight, Samoa does NOT celebrate obesity in females. In actual fact, obesity is recognised as a major health problem in Samoa which many struggle with and has caused many deaths and illnesses relating to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes etc and therefore is something that Samoans do not embrace at all. I am sure that this is a widespread view across the world whether it be a third world country or developed country. I seriously cannot imagine that there is a whole country out there that embraces and endorses obesity. However, if there is a country out there that does, then I expect to see sufficient research and evidence that underpins this. Just because Samoa is a third world country and a majority of Samoans are large does not mean that we therefore embrace and celebrate obesity. This just emphasises the fact that this article portrays ignorance, illegitimacy and lack of research. I am actually surprised that U.S.A. is not mentioned at all on this list as they have been ranked amongst the top obese countries in the world for a number of years more than any other country. So based on the assumptions and research in this article derived solely from obesity statistics in countries alone, wouldn’t you say that U.S.A. therefore celebrates obesity in women?

    Just to be absolutely clear, Samoans celebrate curvy and average women with a nice shape and womanly figure, not fat/obese grossly overweight women or women that are very skinny and skeletal looking with no shape or figure. I suggest visiting the ‘Miss Samoa Pageant’ website ( which demonstrates visually what Samoa embraces in females. What better way to understand what Samoans honestly embrace in females than the ‘Miss Samoa Pageant’, which has been running annually since the 1960’s. Notice that none of the contestants are obese. If Samoa did embrace obese women, don’t you think that each contestant or at least one would be obese?

    Also, Samoa has never abandoned its traditional food including taro and fish. If you visit a Samoan household or function you would find an abundance of taro and other traditional Samoan food. Yes, Samoans have genetically larger body frames so are naturally larger than most other countries. When I refer to large this does not mean ‘obese’ or grossly overweight. There is a difference between ‘obese’ and average sized or solid builds. Every nationality have different typical body shapes, masses, height, sizes etc so it is a bit unfair to categorise everyone into one measurement of body shape/size index etc. However, with that being said obesity/fat/grossly overweight is not the norm in Samoa.

  20. You are way off base with Jamaican women. The word “obese” means that the person is grossly overweight. Jamaican women do not fall under that definition. Most Jamaican women are fit and or a normal weight. A very skinny/anorexic type looking woman is not considered healthy or fit. Also, there is no “burgeoning pill market which caters to young women desiring to gain weight”. Get your facts straight.

    • Exactly, i live in Jamaica and im doing my utmost best to get a flat stomach..cause all my friends have them…Plump isnt fat ppl. THats all i can sya ive only seen plum Jamaican women like 2 fat 2 overweight and this is in my whole life O_O!

  21. I live in Souh Africa and being fat is not considered beautiful, we Africans like curves not flab!!!
    Thank you. Curves yes, flab no!!!

  22. Another thing their is no “burgeoning pill market which caters to young women desiring to gain weight”, it’s the exact opposite their is a growing market of diet pills for women who want to LOSE weight.

    • OMG I am late for this party but really @TeE: i bet u live in Kingston! Yesa there is a pill on the market that J’can girls use it’s called fowl(chicken pill) and it’s not really to make them obese; but phat in the right places such as the boobs and butt.. Get to know your country folks girl, because most men in the country areas prefer their women on the fat side (though many will say not too fat or obese).

      Only Kingstonians are trying to kill themselves at the gym (along with some in the towns like Montego Bay, Ochi and Portmore) to try to keep up with the mythical Joneses.! I am 5’9″ and 205lbs and there was a research done on Jamaican sexuality @ UWI in 2003-2004 which suggests I am the Jamaican man’s ideal woman. SO THERE!!

  23. You didn’t do your research thoroughly, because I am from Jamaica and men their don’t like fat/obese women. In fact you’re looked down on if you’re fact. The only thing you got right about Jamaica is that being supermodel thin is not considered a good thing, everyone thinks those women are sick. The ideal look in Jamaica is for the women to have a good shape and a nice body. Please do your research next time or ask a Jamaican.

    • I am Jamaican too , and men do love fat women for a fact . I am 5 ‘9 150 lbs people tell me on a regular basis that I need to gain weight

  24. thats total ….. i live in south africa and i dont see people striving 2 b fat… but yeah thats your view on third world south africa… sigh…

    • Well as far as South Africa is concerned, that is where the incredibly beautiful actress Charlize Theron was born and raised. If women look like that down there, I will pack my suitcase right now and buy a plane ticket. Personally, I would love to visit South Africa. Especially Johannesburg !!!

    • Here in South Africa, especially Cape Town most people aim to be fit and healthy. Obese is viewed as disgusting and gluttonous so this post has a completely skewed image of SA just because it is an “African” country, it is by far has the most western ideals of any country in Africa.

    • Ja, I live in South Africa too and obesity is seen as disgusting and unhealthy here, last I checked. Who wrote this nonsense??? Have they been to Cape Town? Most people are fit and toned.

  25. I think people put to much on look and superficial think. Lose weight to be healthy and happy that it the onlt reason.

  26. No.2 Nauru with their 31% rate of diabetes is a very frightening statistic !! I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 in November of 2006 and if anybody thinks that it is not a life-changing alteration, think again !! It was all due to indulgence. Food, alcohol. not eating a structured diet, carbohydrates (which turn to sugar, and by the way if you think alcoholic drinks don’t have sugar in it, THINK AGAIN !!!) all led to the condition in which I face today. I am now on 11 different types of prescribed medication, have had to have the Big Toe of my right foot amputated, I suffer from High Blood Pressure, Neuropathy, Insomnia, Anxiety, Edema, some vision problems, low potassium levels, on some occasions liver and kidney enzymes, countless of hospitalizations, ER visits, MRI’s, X-Rays, Ultra sounds. From the time I was diagnosed in 2006, I have kept a record of every single prescription that I have ever gotten and the total amounts to approx. 50 different medications which has now been dwindled to the 11 aforementioned that I now take. It is predicted by the year 2030 that 10% of the world’s population will have some form of it. I am now on a structured diet, have completely abstained from alcohol (and I don’t miss it and trust me, I don’t need to go to any AA meetings, because I am just to scared to even think about a beer or a mixed drink) and Yes, I do feel better and never miss a doctor’s appointment. The bottom line is, until you get it, you don’t really know how serious it is. If you have numbness in your feet, diminishing eyesight (when I got out of the service in the early 90’s, I had 20/10 vision. Now my right eye is 20/200 and I now wear glasses) and having kidney problems, go to a doctor immediately even if it means a trip to the ER. That’s how it started for me.

    • Hi Peter, I am in similar condition as you are. May I have your email id to get in touch.