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Nearly 30 per cent of Aussie adults are obese, but we have still squeezed into the top ten per cent of countries with the healthiest diet.

The Netherlands, with its relatively affordable food prices, access to diverse, quality produce and low rates of diabetes, was named No. 1 by an Oxfam report looking at 125 countries. This was despite one in five people falling into the obese category.

A 2006 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the healthy traditional Dutch diet includes a high intake of fruit, vegetables and dairy. "[It] appears beneficial for longevity and feasible for health promotion," the authors said.

Although Australia rated poorly in weight stakes and 9 per cent of the population suffers from diabetes, our access to clean water, good food and low levels of malnourishment meant we made the top 12.

This put us behind European countries, including France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium, but alongside Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal.

Many will be pleased, however, that we pipped the Poms at the post. The UK came in at 13, while the US, with its high obesity rates and diet low in nutritional value, didn't even make the top 20.

Unsurprisingly, African countries with their high rates of malnourishment and lack of access to clean water and affordable produce, populated the top 10 worst countries to eat in. With one in three children underweight and 2.1 million affected by food insecurity, Chad topped this undesirable list.

Other Sub-Saharan African countries and Yemen completed the bottom 10.

"Diets in these countries are ... dominated by nutrient-poor cereals, roots and root vegetables," the paper's authors said.

But, poor countries were not only affected by malnutrition because of lack of access to produce. The Oxfam report notes that "processed, high-fat foods are often significantly cheaper than fruit and vegetables".

This explains how a relatively poor population like Nauru tops the fat list, with 71 per cent of its people obese.

Saudi Arabia was the lowest-scoring country when it came to healthy eating habits, with one third of the population considered obese and 18 per cent of its people diabetic.

The report, "highlights some of the areas of critical concern for many countries when it comes to making sure that people can eat well", Oxfam says. "The global food system delivers too much unhealthy food to many at the same time as it fails to provide adequate or sufficient food to more than 800 million."

To tackle these problems, the report recommends, among other things, more investment in small-holder agriculture, tackling climate change, and governments and the food industry collaborating to curb the rise in obesity.

Correction: Australia was ranked equal to Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal, not behind as previously reported.