Healthy Eating…Obesity around the World…



Worldwide obesity figures are rising… with the rising of obesity then lifestyle diseases are on the increase and putting a strain on already stretched health services around the world which means longer waiting times to be seen plus as we/I get older I want to preserve my body as well as I possibly can which means I watch what I eat and I am walking more which is my preferred exercise…Sally over at Smorgasbord has been posting an excellent series on Morbid Obesity…Sally is a trained Nutritionist and her posts are very informative and helpful …Please head over by clicking the highlighted link above…I will leave all the important stuff we should know and the many tips to help us be in our best health to Sally as she is an expert…

My aim is to highlight the scale of the problem and to know that we are all part of the solution and are not alone in this…

This series is one I posted a couple years ago when I looked at worldwide figures and how it looks depending on where you live…I am a self-confessed nerd sometimes…smile…therefore I am repeating and updating this series…

But I also believe life is for living…Food is for enjoying… So what I have decided to do is some comparisons …Which wasn’t my plan initially for these posts… I was just reading and researching and saw a link which I clicked and three hours later and many links later this idea was born…

It started with a headline about obesity ...Country by country and percentages and then I got to thinking about the difference in lifestyles and options or just what we have always eaten…But then those stats began to make sense to me…

My diet has changed drastically since I have lived here and it is not just me who has lost weight we all have … Now I know that when it is hot, you sweat more and your appetite diminishes somewhat…You eat less!

But the food is also different and not just Chillies … I have added some pictures to the header picture of food which is on every menu and commonly eaten at home…

Firstly I will just pick out a random mix for the list below….countries where many of my readers come from or live I have also included the top and the bottom country… Just because I can but over the next couple of weeks I will look at what is commonly eaten to see if a pattern emerges.

There are 192 countries in this and I have also added the link just in case you want to see where you fit…

  • 192  is Timor-Leste with a percentage of 2.2% ( of their population are obese.)
  • 147 is Thailand with a percentage of  8.5%
  • 95 is Germany with a percentage of 20.10%
  • 66 is France with a percentage of 23.9%
  • 35 is Canada with a percentage of 28.0%
  • 33 is the Uk with a percentage of 28.10%
  • 31 is Australia with a percentage of 28.60%
  • 19 is the US with a percentage of 33.7%
  • 1 is the Cook Islands with a percentage of 50.80%

If you wish to check your country out here is the link

At the end of this little experiment, I will do a post o the 1st and last and see what the differences in diet and lifestyles are.

Eating habits here in Thailand… Meals are eaten together as a family and the meal could last a few hours as Thais enjoy their food but it is a social gathering… Whether it is at home or eating out you will see family and friends all together eating and sharing.

Much of the fruit and vegetables are eaten raw or very lightly steamed and everywhere you go to eat you will get your food plus a dish of fresh herbs and vegetables. The variety is awesome Thais forage a lot and I have given up being surprised at what is eaten.

Lily flowers know the pretty white ones that generally drop overnight and are collected early morning they are a delicacy here to eat they are lightly steamed then the stamens are removed and the rest are eaten with a spicy fish sort of pate… Just fish pounded in a pestle and mortar with chillies, fish sauce, lime juice, and maybe dried shrimp or shrimp paste it depends.

The banana flower is a delicacy steamed and eaten with a spicy dip. The lotus flower the seed pods which are left when the flower has finished blooming are eaten.

banana flower 1

A Sticky rice pot filled with fresh rice is a staple here and everywhere you will see a pot..the tuk-tuk drivers have their little pots lovingly made by their spouses and the food stalls have some really massive ones absolutely enormous you could feed an army.

Food and time to eat food are very important here… We learnt very early on that you didn’t ask staff to leave their lunch and serve a customer… A definite no-no it could cause a mass walkout and if a Thai is hungry…Look out! You do not want to cross a hungry Thai…

The world stops here for food be it a bus or any form of transport… The foot is to the floor and every shortcut is taken …

If you break down what Thais eat there are few carbs, lots of raw fresh herbs and vegetables, Lots of eggs in various forms, lots of BBQ meats chicken, fish in salt, kidneys, sun-dried beef, pork and fish eaten with Som Tam( Papaya Salad) which again comes in many variations but with lots of tomatoes, beans, dried shrimp, chillies, peanuts, maybe some crab…

Thai Platter

A typical Thai meal of Som Tam, Mushroom soup, mushrooms just sliced and steamed with a very hot spicy dip some fresh vegetables, crispy pork scratching and sticky rice. Sometimes this will be served with steamed fish or just as it is…

This platter is slightly more substantial with the fish.

Mixed Thai Food

Out for the evening and a little more…

Thai platter in Phuket Town

This plate has rice noodles and some thick rice noodles, a little chicken, Som Tam, vegetables and herbs, bitter gourd and crispy garlic but if you look at all three they are very similar…A large percentage of the food is fresh raw vegetables or plain steamed noodles… Not too much fried or high in carbs quite natural …Not high on processed foods either…

I do think over the next few weeks when I explore other diets we will see where and how much the diets vary from country to country…most of this diet I did eat in the UK as we had a large Thai community near where we lived plus my daughter in law taught me how to cook Thai food and also to enjoy my food in its raw state rather than processed and cooked to death… Not too many nasties on those platters of food.

In Thailand food is to be enjoyed, It is fun and food is savoured, enjoyed and time is taken ..No rushing and bolting down of food but pure enjoyment and if full they talk and laugh and then eat some more… a meal can and does last for a few hours and then in no time at all the next meal is being planned…

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about the food I eat and how much my diet has changed but also how much my health has improved and I no longer eat food just because it is good for me …I eat because I love what I eat.

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments which I will respond to when I return from Bangkok we are having a few days away x

43 thoughts on “Healthy Eating…Obesity around the World…

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      1. Colleen M. Chesebro

        If I don’t eat the jasmine rice I’m good. But, that is so hard to stay away from. My favorite. I’ve found brown jasmine rice and brown sticky rice at my local Asian store. I can eat 1/4 safely with zero weight gain. I eat veggies and lean meat mostly, along with fruits. I would love the food… no doubt! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        I stick to rice just once a day but Thais eat it nearly every meal and most still stay slim but they eat far more raw vegetables and a lot of fruit far more than I remember being eaten when I lived in the UK among the people I know 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanooki

    Interesting post! I’m originally from Japan(ranked 7 for least obese by population) but have been living in the US for more than decades. Interestingly, I lost so many lbs after I moved to the US but gain weight when I visit Japan for vacation😂 Probably that’s because friends warned me about American obese rate, so I care extra for what I eat. Also the portion size…American ones are served big but it’s not sharing purpose but tips for servers(is it?) I found a lot of tropical region ranked high in obese, so I wonder how they managed to take so much calories from eating. It’ll be interesting to know what their food culture is. Thank you for sharing Carol!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      You are very welcome I believe much of it is when western foods are introduced to tropical and other regions that have otherwise eaten basically off the land and what they forage or catch and once processed foods are introduced the pounds pile on …

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. johnrieber

    I read that the average size of a portion of food at a restaurant is more then 30% more than in the 70’s…food manufacturers decided that, if there aren’t more people to sell to, you sell more food to the customers you have…a sad cycle indeed…sharing this story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That is terrible, John I could add a lot more to that but I won’t as food manufacturers are not my favourite people in the world and they make me rant at times…Thank you for sharing 🙂


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  6. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Terrific post and the statistics are very interesting Carol and Thai cuisine is clearly healthier than many who have adopted the western lifestyle of industrially produced foods. Great to include the recipes as they show that carbs whilst not over indulged in can be a part of a healthy diet provided they are accompanied by plenty of fresh produce. Thanks for the mention and link to the obesity series, much appreciated. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Doctor Jonathan

    Looking forward to your follow up comparing the best and worst outcomes (resulting in obesity.) Culture certainly plays a role. I’ll bet you’ll find, the greater the technological advances, the unhealthier the people will be. Just my guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol Post author

      My guess as well… It is just a little experiment for me really I am interested to see how the top one became top but containing my natural curiosity …haha…I am going to go through my chosen cultures first and Germany is next so we will see …an enjoyable little excercise for me to do 🙂 I hope you are well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The Coastal Crone

    Yes! I enjoyed this one very much. Recently in my volunteer work we had a student from Thailand who came in and usually brought her lunch. It was interesting to see what her mother had prepared for her and sometimes she shared or brought something for everyone to try. Your post gave more background on her country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol Post author

      I am so pleased that you enjoyed this post and yes Thais love to share food and wherever they are in the world most stay true to their roots and still eat their own food…:) x


  12. Thelma Alberts

    Carol, I am getting hungry reading this post and seeing the photos. I have eaten the food in the photos. You know I am working with Thais and they bring those yummy food at work but rice is being cooked at work.

    The 1st day I worked with the Thais in a Thai massage salon, I was surprised because they ate raw vegetables which I usually cooked and they didn´t have a salad dressing with the lettuce, eggplant, brocolli, etc. They just washed the veggies and ate them with their hands. Though chili sauce was always the companion. Just imagine 20 pieces of chillies in a sauce. Very hot. Every time they had no clients, they were eating and it surprised me because they are thin. Now I am used to eating with their Thai food and it was an enjoyment being with them eating.

    Btw, I love steaming the banana heart blossom and make it into salad. Soon I will be able to eat it again. Thanks for sharing your wonderful blog. Have a nice week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol Post author

      Thank you, THelma..That is what I love about Thais and their food…They share and wherever they are they still stay true and eat their own food..their way and I fully embrace this way of eating…I love it and who needs salad dressing??? I hope you have week with lots of Thai food…P.S. I love the banan heart steamed as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. thebookwormdrinketh

    Wow!! I guess they call it “Cook” Islands for a reason! 😫 I like the “bootcamp” name! You may not be pushing us to diet or anything, but it’s still a Bootcamp of sorts to get people to eat healthier! Especially for those of us who love to eat carbs and bad fats and not much else! It definitely feels like a Bootcamp at times to try to get back on track! So… A Bootcamp in a good way?? 😅😉

    Liked by 1 person

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