Matters are worse in the United States where a 1991 survey showed one- third of the white population of both sexes were obese. In Germany, a 1990 survey showed 17.2 per cent of men and 19.3 per cent of women were obese.
Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. A man who measures 5ft 10in and weighs 15-stone is obese, as is a woman of 5ft 7in weighing 13st 10lbs. BMI is a measure of fatness derived by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.