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Fat Americans - Fit Norwegians?

Published: 08.05.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
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A recent survey conducted by *NTNU in Norway shows that Norwegians equal the average weight of white US citizens. The survey is carried out in Nord-Trøndelag as that is a typical Norwegian county. The comparison is limited to white US citizens as they are of European descent and thus the most relevant comparison group for the Norwegian population. (Source:

*, Professor Kristian Midthjell

  1. Obese woman waiting at airport. What nationality would you assume the woman has?  Are you stereotyping or making qualified guessObese woman waiting at airport. What nationality would you assume the woman has? Are you stereotyping or making a qualified guess?  How does the result of the NTNU survey strike you?
  2. Many Norwegians believe that Americans in general are more obese than Norwegains. Are there other areas in which you believe Americans are different? If so, do you have actual facts or statistics to back it up or is it    a preconception you have?
  3. Many nationalities have particular characteristics associated with them, like
  4. the Swiss are good with money, the
  5. Germans work hard, the French are great with food and the Italians are hot tempered.
    Discuss with your fellow students if this is merely a fun way of characterising each other or if it may actutally lead to discrimination and conflict.
  6. What influences our ideas about other nationalities? Make a list with what you consider the most important influence at the top and then in order of decreasing importance. (films, media, travel, entertainment, research...)
  7. How do we reduce the risk of cultures developing in a manner which makes them excluding and judgemental of others?


  1. Study this site Overweight and Obesity  and find out how in general the weight of Americans has developed over the last three decades. Is the obese epidemic on the rise or do we see a weight reduction? Use the navigation at the top of the map.
  2. Which states top the statistics?
  3. Average weight varies between poor people and rich people, and between various states in the USA. Discuss why there are such differences.
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