New Zealand has been named and shamed as one of the fattest countries in the world.

A report by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation ranked New Zealand as having the 12th highest number of overweight and obese people.

The US, which previously had the worst record, was overtaken by neighbouring Mexico, where 70 per cent of adults are overweight and a third obese.

The study found 27 per cent of New Zealanders were obese, just behind Lebanon and alongside Slovenia.


Australia was the 17th fattest nation and Britain 19th.

A survey earlier this year listed New Zealand adults as being on average the second heaviest among 50 countries, which prompted warnings of a looming medical crisis.

The average Kiwi was estimated to weigh 81.3kg last year, lighter only than the average American, who weighed 82.7kg, according to figures compiled by the Bloomberg news service using data from the World Health Organisation, the OECD and a survey funded by the US Agency for International Development.

However, adults in American Samoa are still officially the fattest in the world.

According to World Health Organisation figures, the rate of overweight citizens has now reached 95 per cent.