The Fittest And The Fattest – The World’s Leanest And Most Obese Cities

June 2, 2014

food map plate


In society today, one thing that is constantly on everyone’s mind is body image. How do you look versus how they look?

Maybe you’re asking yourself to boost your confidence, or maybe because a cute girl or guy is looking your way and you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself.

Everyone has different reasons. But if it’s simply because you’re looking around and consistently seeing one body type, then maybe you are living in the wrong place.

Not all places were created equal, and not all cities have an equal proportion of weight.

Whatever the reasons are, these are the largest and slimmest cities around the world.

Lean and Mean

healthiest cities


First off, just because you live in a certain city doesn’t make you overweight or in shape, it simply equates to the average of the people around you.So be proud of yourself, regardless of what you look like or where you live.

According to many sources available, by most accounts Singapore is the healthiest and cleanest city in the world. Calling itself the Garden City, the many parks, trails, and green spaces throughout the city provide amble opportunity for someone to go out and get some exercise. According to the “CIA World Fact Book” it is also the city with the fourth highest life expectancy, sitting at a ripe old age of 84.07 years.

Combined with strict laws on imported foods, as well as following a traditional diet, Singapore ranks as the No.1 healthy city in the world. Tokyo, Japan follows closely at No.2. Possessing the second highest life expectancy in the world with the average age of death being 84.19 years, as well as a diet revolving around fresh seafood and rice, Tokyo has much to offer the health enthusiast.

The government of Japan also invests heavily in many public health programs, which when combined with the strict style of schooling, cements a clean, healthy and hygienic lifestyle in youth throughout the country. Perth, Australia, ranks as the 3rd healthiest city in the world. Cycling is encouraged, and between 1994 and 2009, the city saw a 450% increase in cyclists.

Transperth, the city’s public transportation program, recognizes this fact, and has included many bike shelters at its station to encourage citizens who commute to cycle to the station and go wherever they need. Recognizing the culture revolving around outdoor activities and sports, the local government launched the Public Open Space Tool, which helps many who reside there to find the nearest park or recreation area near them.

The Not-So-Healthy

fat cities


Unfortunately, there is a darker side to health, or rather the lack thereof. In many instances, obesity is a natural progression as time and technology move people towards faster, processed meals. Many island cities and nations are hit hardest by this, as the resources on said island were small to begin with.

As processed foods became more and more common, islands that rely on imported food are hit the hardest. That’s not to say that plenty mainland cities around the globe aren’t suffering the effects of over-eating though. Beginning with the world’s fattest city, we start our journey in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

With a whopping 94% of citizens being overweight, Pago Pago is a prime example of what happens to an island nation in today’s world. Leaving behind the traditional seafood and fruit diets of their ancestors, American Samoans have grown large off the imported food it gets. Processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup being the culprits, and with an island culture that revolves around relaxing, it’s not hard to see why Pago Pago is a big deal.

The second largest city in the world is found in South Tarawa, Kiribati. Another island nation, the imports to the island in recent years have gone to show what leaving behind the diets of the past for simple, faster meals can do. Possessing a population that is 84% overweight, and a secluded position in the Pacific, South Tarawa is a city definitely in need of a throwback to tradition.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is No. 3 on our list. Over 73% of the kingdom’s citizens are overweight, due to the urbanized lifestyle that a steady income from oil exports has brought the nation. Adding in the traditional oil-heavy meats and stifling heat that discourages physical activity, it’s not hard to see that maybe all is not so well in the Kingdom.


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