Is Australia the world’s fattest nation?

According to yesterday’s SMH,

Australia has overtaken the US to become the fattest nation in the world, with more than 9 million adults rated as obese or overweight.

But is this true? According to the most recent Australian National Health Survey, 35.4% of Australians over the age of 18 are overweight, and another 17.9% are obese, making 53.3% of us fat. That’s about 7.4 million people.

According to the American National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 66% of Americans are overweight or obese, with 31.4% obese.

Both surveys class people with a Body Mass Index of over 30 as obese, and those with a BMI of 25 or more but less than 30 as overweight.

So while we are a nation of fatties, on these statistics we are still a fair way from being the world’s fattest, our 53% lagging well behind the American 66%.

So where did the SMH claim come from?
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