African Culture is World Heritage

African Proverb

African Proverb
Distance diminishes the elephant

Percent of fat people in Africa

Libya has the highest obesity rates in Africa while Ethiopia has the lowest. List of countries and percent of adults aged 18 and over considered obese.

Here is a list of countries and percent of adults aged 18 and over considered obese in Africa. The five most obese African countries are Libya, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria and Tunisia. 

Obesity is defined as an adult having a Body Mass Index greater to or equal to 30. Most of the world's population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight, this includes Africa despite the media perception of starving Africans.

Throughout Africa as part of the trend toward greater consumption of convenience foods, demand for fried potatoes is increasing. Over-consumption of these high-energy products, along with reduced physical activity, can lead to overweight. Therefore the role of fried foods in the African diet must be taken into consideration in efforts to prevent overweight, obese and diet related non-communicable diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.


Obese Rank African Country Population Total Obese %Obese
1 Libya 6.9 Million 2.2 Million 32.5%
2 Egypt 104.4 Million 33.4 Million 32%
3 South Africa 56.4 Million 15.9 Million 28.3%
4 Algeria 42. 9 Million 11.7 Million 27.4%
5 Tunisia 11.7 Million 3.1 Million 26.9%


Grilled chicken served at a roadside restaurant in central Libya.
Grilled chicken served at a roadside restaurant in central Libya.


Obesity is a complicated but preventable health topic resulting from a combination of causes and individual factors such as behavior and genetics. Once considered a first world problem, obesity is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries in urban African communities.

In urban African populations out of the 20 fastest rising countries with obesity, nearly half are in Africa. Contributing factors include the prevalence of fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and KFC and food marketing and promotion. Libya has the highest obesity rates in Africa while Ethiopia has the lowest.


Ghana market place.

Obesity is frequently subdivided into categories:

Class 1: BMI of 30 to 35.

Class 2: BMI of 35 to 40.

Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher, class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as extreme or severe obesity.

Percent of fat people in Africa listed by country.


World Rank African Country Percent of Obesity
16 Libya 32.5
18 Egypt 32
31 South Africa 28.3
38 Algeria 27.4
40 Tunisia 26.9
45 Morocco 26.1
114 Botswana 18.8
119 Namibia 17.2
122 Lesotho 16.6
124 Eswatini 16.5
126 Zimbabwe 15.5
127 Gabon 15
130 Seychelles 14
131 Djibouti 13.5
132 Mauritania 12.7
133 Sao Tome And Principe 12.4
134 Cabo Verde 11.8
135 Cameroon 11.4
136 Ghana 10.9
137 Mauritius 10.8
138 Cote D'ivoire 10.3
139 The Gambia 10.3
141 Liberia 9.9
142 Benin 9.6
143 Republic of the Congo 9.6
144 Guinea-Bissau 9.5
145 Nigeria 8.9
146 Senegal 8.8
147 Sierra Leone 8.6
149 Mali 8.6
151 Tanzania 8.4
152 Togo 8.4
153 Somalia 8.3
154 Angola 8.1
155 Zambia 8.1
156 Equatorial Guinea 8
157 Comoros 7.8
158 Guinea 7.7
159 Central African Republic 7.5
160 Mozambique 7.2
161 Kenya 7.1
164 Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.7
165 South Sudan 6.6
166 Sudan 6.6
170 Chad 6.1
173 Malawi 5.8
174 Rwanda 5.8
175 Burkina Faso 5.6
177 Niger 5.5
178 Burundi 5.4
180 Madagascar 5.3
181 Uganda 5.3
183 Eritrea 5
185 Ethiopia 4.5

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My mother is a historian of African culture and history and her influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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