So you know how Americans are like, supposed to be the epically fattest people on the entire planet? Well, guess what? According to the new online Global Fat Scale Calculator developed by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we're NOT! We're not the fattest, nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah. You'll never guess which country is the fattest, though, so I'm not even going to bother asking you to try: It's Tonga (??). Yup.
In fact, the U.S.A. doesn't even make the top 3! We're apparently the 11th most overweight nation worldwide, trailing after heavies including Samoa, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Micronesia.
Of course, that smug feeling begins to fade a bit when you notice where nations like, say, France rank ... #145. Italy? #131. Spain? #103. The U.K. is closer on our heels at #52, but they've still got a lot of catching up to do. And perhaps most embarrassing of all?
Canada is at #72. Our next-door neighbors are over 60 spots skinnier than us.
But the most fascinating thing about the Global Fat Scale Calculator??
Plug in your own height and weight and the calculator "works out your BMI as well as where you are in relation to the rest of the population in your country and the world for your gender and age."
So obviously, depending on your own personal stats, this experience can be either encouraging or depressing or alarming or horrifying. But even if you already know your BMI and/or have a pretty good handle on whether or not you're at a healthy weight, to see which country your body type is most consistent with can be pretty surprising. I'll admit I burst out laughing when my results popped up -- I knew my BMI was lower than average, but I wasn't expecting to be matched with THAT particular place. (No, I'm not telling you which one.)
The point is, most of us have at least a slightly warped self-image. Whether we're overly critical or generous or what, we tend not to be the most accurate judges of our own bodies. The Global Fat Scale Calculator gives users a completely different -- and probably much-needed -- perspective. In a good way, I promise.
Did you try the Global Fat Scale Calculator? Were you surprised by your results?
Image via Horia Varlan/Flickr