Ads by Google Ads by Google

Tongan women top obesity scales, worldwide


Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Tonga ranked number one worldwide as the country with the most women with obesity, according to a study released by well-known medical journal, the Lancet.

The study found that 81.5% of Tongan women over the age of 20 are living with obesity, an increase of 23.3% from 1990.

The study measured rates from across 190 countries. It shows nine out of the top ten countries with the most women with obesity in the world, are Pacific island countries, namely Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Micronesia, with Tonga as the number one country.

American Samoa and Samoa were ranked second and third. The report stated that 81% of American Samoan women over the age of 20 are living with obesity, and 75% in Samoa.

However, a contrast to obesity, the study shows that less than 0.2% of women in Tonga are underweight, a decrease of 0.4% from 1990.

With Tonga struggling with obesity for several decades, there have been attempts made by the government to tackle the problem. Solutions offered by the government include a National Guideline for Healthy Living was launched in April 2023, and community and school led programs to promote healthy lifestyles, like the Free Breakfasts for Schools programme.

The Lancet study shows that more than one billion people in the world are now living with obesity.

It shows that obesity rates among children and adolescents worldwide increased four times from 1990 to 2022, while obesity rates among adults have more than doubled.

The study highlights an urgent need for major changes to measures aimed at tackling obesity, as well as policies to further reduce the number of people who are underweight, especially in the poorest parts of the world.