SPAIN is the healthiest country in the world, and that’s official.
Paella, pata negra ham, fresh blue fish and the derided tortilla española have produced a healthy nation that heads the Bloomberg Healthiest Countries Index.
The index evaluated nations on variables that include life expectancy while deducting points for health risks like smoking or obesity. Access to clean water and sanitation were also taken into account.
A principal factor in Spain’s Number One position was a life expectancy of 86 at birth, the highest in the European Union and the world’s third-highest after Japan and Switzerland.
The experts said that Spain’s eating habits provided clues to the health levels in Spain and Italy, which Bloomberg placed second. The Mediterranean diet, rich in extra-virgin olive oil and nuts, is responsible for a lower rate of cardiovascular disorders, compared with countries with a high-fat diet, Bloomberg said.
Not only does the Spanish population have a lower incidence of heart disease, but cancer survival rates are improved thanks to the state’s primary care system, which provides preventive services for children, women and the elderly.
Cuba occupies 30th position, the only low-income country to be ranked so high, and five places above the US, ranked 35th.
Britain was ranked 19th – up two places since 2017 – while Mali, Somalia, Lesotho, Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Ivor Coast and Sierra Leone owing to limited health care, unsatisfactory diets and the risk of violent death.