MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index named Spain as the healthiest nation in the world.
The data company ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO); United Nations Population Division (UNDP); and the World Bank.
Spain, which placed sixth in the previous report published in 2017, scored 92.8, surpassing Italy which slipped from number 1 to number 2 spot with 91.59.
Other nations in the top 10 include:
Iceland (3rd) with 91.44;
Japan (4th) with 91.38 climbing from seventh spot in 2017;
Switzerland (5th) with 90.93;
Sweden (6th) with 90.24;
Australia (7th) with 89.75;
Singapore (8th) with 89.29 dropping from 4th spot in 2017;
Norway (9th) with 89.09;
and Israel (10th) with 88.15.
Variables weighed include life expectancy, while imposing penalties on health risks i.e. tobacco use and obesity, plus environmental factors like access to clean water and sanitation.
Based on data from the UNDP, Spain is forecast to have the highest lifespan in 2040 at almost 86 years having the highest life expectancy at birth among European nations, followed by Japan, Singapore and Switzerland.
The main factor for Spaniards and Italians being the healthiest, according to researchers from the University of Navarra Medical School, is their eating habit – a “Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet”.
The United States, meanwhile, ranked 35th, a 1-point drop from 34th in the 2017 results as life expectancy in the country on downtrend due deaths from drug overdoses and suicides.
Bloomberg analysis focuses in its final index nations with at least 0.3 million population and sufficient data and 169 WHO states met such criteria. – Marje Pelayo