Iceland Is No Longer The World’s Healthiest Country

What is the new healthiest country on the globe?
Researchers seem to change their minds about what kind of diet is the best to follow. And as one fad diet replaces another, people are left wondering how they should really be eating. Well, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, we should perhaps be eating and living like the Spaniards, as the European country has been named the healthiest country in the world.
So what does Spain have that other countries don’t? A number of environmental and behavioural factors affect the outcome of the Healthiest Country Index, including life expectancy, substance abuse, disease, water quality, etc. Like other top healthy nations in the world, including Italy (which came in second place) and Iceland (which came in third), the citizens of Spain enjoy a steady diet of fish. The Spanish diet, also known as the Mediterranean diet, also includes olive oil, nuts, and vegetables, and very limited red meat. As a result, the country has seen a steady decline in heart disease over the past decade, as well as a decline in the number of deaths related to cancer, as reported by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
When it comes to healthcare, Spain mainly relies on public health providers and family practices, as opposed to the highly privatized health organizations we see in some other parts of the free world. While Japan currently holds the highest life expectancy in the world, experts predict that Spain will take that crown as well by the year 2040, when the life expectancy at birth for it citizens is expected to hit 86 years old.
Only time will tell if Spain will keep the title of World’s Healthiest Country in the years to come. It is worth noting, however, that out of the 169 countries examined by this study, six out of the top 10 were European nations in parts of the continent that tend to follow the Mediterranean diet model.
Source: Robert Liwanag/Readers Digest
Photo: aarp.org

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