According the World Health Organization, Argentinian men are the most overweight group in South America. According to the WHO’s latest World Obesity Map, 63.9% of Argentinian men are overweight, while 23.6% suffer from obesity.
Argintinian men are followed closely in over-weightedness by Chilean and Uruguayan men at 63.2% and 62.4% respectively, while 23.3% and 22.5% are considered obese.
In its overweight calculation, WHO considers a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 30 as overweight while a BMI of over 30 is obese. BMI is a calculation that measures weight relative to height and is the standard used by researchers to define a person’s weight according to their height.
Among women, Venezuela leads the pack with 63.5% overweight followed by Chile at 63%, Peru at 62% and Uruguay at 60%, In obesity among women, Chile leads with 32.2% while Uruguay is second at 30.6%, and Chile is third at 29.4%.
Silvio Schraier, specialist in Nutrition and Diabetes and former president of the Argentina Society of Nutrition, says he is not surprised at the ranking of Argentinian men. “In this country, there is a high consumption of fats, refined sugars and salt in foods and beverages,” he says. “Among Latin American countries, we have the highest consumption of soft drinks per capita and have the lowest consumption level of fruits and vegetables.”
Schraier added that Argentinian men also had the lowest level of physical activity in South America. “This is different for our women. They have more active daily lives in general, but they are gaining many of the bad habits of the men.”