Information taken from a European Health Interview Survey, commissioned by Eurostat, found 1-in-4 were obese in Malta (26%) - the worst among the EU's 28 member states.
This was closely followed by 1-in-5 individuals in Latvia (21.3%), Hungary (21.2%) and Estonia (20.4%). The UK was the fifth most obese nation among EU member states (20.1%).
The country with the lowest rate of obesity among the population aged 18 or over was Romania (9.4%).
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) similar estimates from EU nations place obesity and overweight as affecting between 30-70% of adults.
Close age correlation
Eurostat identified that in nearly all EU member states obesity increased with age.
The widest disparity between the proportion of obese young people (18-24) and obese older individuals (65-74) was in Slovakia (2.7% vs 33%). Latvia closely followed (3.9% vs 33.2%) and Estonia (5.0% vs 31.4%).
Youth obesity was worst in Malta (12.0%) with the UK in second place (10.8%). Around 1-in-3 older people were considered obese in Malta (33.6%), Latvia (33.2%) and Slovakia (33.0%).
In a similar vein to general obesity rates, the number of overweight infants and children in the Europe has risen steadily from 1990 to 2008.
The WHO has stated that the 60% of children who are considered overweight before puberty will be overweight or obese in early adulthood.
Childhood obesity has been linked with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, underachievement in school and lower self-esteem.
The survey found obesity rates fell among better educated sub-populations - from almost 20% among those with less formal education, to 16% for those with a medium education level, to 11.5% for the most educated.
Slovenia had the greatest disparity - 9.2% for people with a high education level compared with 26.0% for those with a low education level.
Eurostat’s findings come off the back of forecasts from Public Health England (PHE) which said yesterday that the number of people with weight-related conditions such as diabetes could reach five million by 2035.