By Daniele Iannarone
Canada is the healthiest country in the world, according to the Global Wellness Index’s latest report on health worldwide.
The study, conducted by the Global Wellness Index and published by investment firm LetterOne, studied ten key parameters, which included life expectancy, spending, diabetes risk, blood pressure, obesity, depression, happiness, alcohol, tobacco and inactivity.
The study cites Canada as winning a considerable amount of points in the categories of happiness, life expectancy and blood pressure.
According to this particular study, Canada was followed by Oman and Iceland in second and third place, while the U.S. was ranked outside of the top 25 and South Africa was ranked last in 151st place.
While the Global Wellness Index paints a rosy picture of the health of Canadians, this information is not consistent with information found in other studies. This is just one of many global health reports conducted recently, and the results tend to vary depending on which study you look at.
BNN Bloomberg’s 2019 Healthiest Country Index, released last month, ranked Canada 16th after looking at many of the same parameters. According to this study, Spain and Italy led the surge, primarily as a result of their healthy Mediterranean diet. The results of Bloomberg’s study are on trend with the results they found in 2017, which placed Italy as the healthiest country and Canada in a mere 17th place.
According to the Bloomberg report, data can be interpreted in many ways, but there is an overall trend of smaller countries topping the list. “This may be tied to researchers developing new metrics for the modern world,” cites the report. “Measures that don’t necessarily correlate economic health with actual health—let alone wellness—at the expense of other, more nuanced barometers.”
Despite Canada being ranked among the world’s healthiest countries, we Canadians should not let our guard down. A 2017 study from Statistics Canada found that 60% of Canadians are reported to be either overweight or obese. StatsCan also reported that over 2 million Canadians aged 15 or above suffer from mental illness, with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and severe stress disorder among the most reported mental illnesses. A similar number of Canadians are also living with diabetes.
While Canadians have taken significant steps in the right direction regarding their health, it is important to remember that the situation is far from perfect and we should never take our health for granted.