Israel ranked world’s 10th healthiest country

In this Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 photo, Gilad Fine, a Jewish religious farmer from Bnei Netzarim, near the Israel border with Egypt, stands inside his greenhouse. Fine grows lettuce and kale using hydroponics on raised platforms to fulfill the biblical commandment to let his farmlands rest every seventh year. Out of some 6,700 Jewish farmers in Israel, only about 50 ignored the religious rules, while only about 100 abandoned their farms altogether this year in exchange for small government stipends, said Israeli agricultural and religious officials. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
02/25/2019    6:12:36 AM . UPDATED ON . 02/25/2019 . 6:12:47 AM

Israel was ranked among the top ten healthiest countries in the world, according to a 2019 assessment published by Bloomberg on Sunday.

Spain topped Bloomberg’s “Healthiest Country Index” this year, followed by Italy, Iceland, Japan, and Switzerland rounding out the top five.

Israel, in 10th place, fell one place from its 2017 position, but ranked higher than Canada (16th place) and the United States (35th) place.

The index ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to or imperil overall health.

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“The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy, while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation,” Bloomberg said.

Sub-Saharan economies accounted for 27 of the 30 unhealthiest nations in the ranking, Bloomberg said, with the others being Haiti, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Bloomberg attributed Spaniards’ and Italians’ top health ranking to factors including their “Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts” which, according to studies, leads to lower rates of cardiovascular diseases.

The index noted that studies show Spain on track to have the world’s highest lifespan at 86 years by 2040, while the United States’ life expectancy was on a downward trend attributable to higher rates of overdose and suicide.


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