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Marketplace Globalist Quiz: Global obesity

Obese man

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

STEVE CHIOTAKISl: President Obama is expected to sign a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill that passed the U.S. House yesterday. Part of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity. This morning, we're gonna talk about obesity as part of the Marketplace Globalist Quiz.

Stephan Richter is publisher and editor-in-chief of theGlobalist.com and he's with us now. Good morning Stephan.

STEPHAN RICHTER: Good morning. So I take it you're ready for today's quiz?

CHIOTAKIS: I am ready. Give it to me.

RICHTER: Which of these countries have the highest obesity rate? The United States, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, or Russia -- a nice global spread.

CHIOTAKIS: Let's see -- alright, so there's some great food in Mexico. But wow -- the United States is home to fast food. I'm going to say the United States.

DING DING DING DING DING

RICHTER: Yes, you are right. The United States leads the way -- 46.3 percent of its population is considered obese.

CHIOTAKIS: Wow. That's 46 percent.

RICHTER: Forty-six percent. And you know what's worse? There's a regional cluster here. You talked about Mexican food. Mexico's number three, behind Argentina, which is number two. So that's the wrong kind of sense for the Western Hemisphere to lead the way globally.

CHIOTAKIS: How much higher, Stephan is the obesity rate in the United States than the other countries? The number two, three -- you know the rest of them?

RICHTER: Number two and three are close together. And in fact of the twenty, G20 nations, three are 30 percent. That's the U.S., Argentina and Mexico. The club remains quite obese because seven of them are over 25 percent obese, number four is Saudi Arabia which I offered up, Australia, Canada and the U.K. Again there's a little bit of a worrisome pattern because all of these four countries are great United States allies on foreign policy matters, so I hope nobody starts talking about an alliance of the obese and willing.

CHIOTAKIS: Maybe some more calisthenics for them.

RICHTER: Yes sports in high schools everywhere and less Coke Cola and less snack food. People just can't resist this good stuff coming.

CHIOTAKIS: Alright, well dually noted. Stephan Richter from the Globalist, thank you so much.

RICHTER: You're welcome and stay slim.

CHIOTAKIS: We will try, Stephen Ritcher. For more insights check out the theGlobalist.com.

UPDATE: Many readers questioned the source of this data. Stephan Richter responds with a link to the source data and more details on how the list was compiled.

About the author

Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist, a daily online magazine on the global economy, politics and culture.

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