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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, May 28) - Statistics released at a conference in Europe indicate that the Pacific leads the world in obesity.

The World Health Organization has compiled a database of obesity rates in 140 counties based on what is known as a Body Mass Index.

A BMI of 25 or more indicates "overweight" and 30 or more "obesity."

The country with the top score in the world is Nauru, with an average Body Mass Index of almost 80. Tonga is second with a BMI of 60.

In Samoa and Niue, according to the database, women are significantly more obese than men, with Samoan women rating 62 to Samoan men 33.

The scores for the Melanesian countries are significantly lower.

Vanuatu's BMI is less than 20.

June 4, 2004

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