Italy Today

Why Italians are the healthiest in the world

Bloomberg Global Health Index ranks Italy 1st out of 163 countries

Why Italians are the healthiest in the world

Claudia Astarita

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According to the popular magazine Bloomberg, Italy is the healthiest country in the world out of 163 competitors.

In spite of the economic crisis and the well-known high unemployment rate, Italy is the place to be to live a long and healthy life.  While fighting a high government debt and economic stagnation, Italians are better than Brits and Americans, who are more affected by mental illness, cholesterol, and hypertension.

The Bloomberg Global Health Index has assessed 163 countries on different variables, i.e. life expectancy, death causes, risks for health (such as high blood pressure, smoke, pollution, etc.).

With regard to the Bel Paese, a child born in Italy is expected to live at least 80 years, compared to 52 years in Sierra Leone (ranked in the last position). Italy has even passed countries like Island, Sweden and Japan where the quality of life is definitely high.

Italian secret for health? It seems very much related to the diet. In fact, the regular consumption of vegetables and olive oil is definitely a point of strength, which finds its best expression in the Mediterranean diet.

Another key element for Italians well-being is a relevant number of doctors per persons. 2016 OCSE (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) data revealed that in Italy there are 3,9 doctors every 1000 inhabitants. This is a relevant number that positions Italy 5th behind Greece (6,29 doctors every 1000 inhabitants), Austria (4,9), Germany (4,05) and Switzerland (4,04). However, when considering all other variables, none of these countries is able to compete with Italy.

Italy shares the podium with Island and Switzerland in second and third position, followed by Singapore and Australia. The United States ranked 34th due to the widespread overweight and obesity. Notwithstanding the exceptional results, Italians should be careful to keep their lifestyle and diet as it is in order to keep a high life expectancy and a low number of obese people.

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