Top 10 Healthiest Countries in the World for Both Men and Women

01/09/2013

 

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

Where do the healthiest people in the world live? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sought to find out both where and why through the Global Burden of Disease study in 2010 to look at health topics of a trending nature around the world.

Partners in the project included Harvard Initiative for Global Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Disease Control Priorities Project, IHME Global Burden of Disease and the University of Queensland, according to Organic Authority

By looking at a number of factors including life expectancy, they compiled a list of the healthiest countries in the world. The U.S. came in 29th place for men and 33nd for women.

Here are the countries that came out on top:

Highest Male Healthy Life Expectancy:

1. Japan

2. Singapore

3. Switzerland

4. Spain

5. Italy

6. Australia

7. Canada

8. Andorra

9. Israel

10. South Korea

Highest Female Healthy Life Expectancy:

1. Japan

2. South Korea

3. Spain

4. Singapore

5. Taiwan

6. Switzerland

7. Andorra

8. Italy

9. Australia

10. France

Why does Japan continue to be number one on both lists? While the study did not pinpoint the reasoning behind the country’s first place finish, I have a few speculations. The World Health Organization (WHO) also calculated the countries where people live to full health the longest and Japan came out on top with 74.5 years. Much of this is due to diet. The Japanese eat a diet rich in fatty fish, whole soy, and green tea. Maybe even more importantly, they consistantly eat until they are 80 percent full. 

The bottom line -- eat mindfully and choose a plant-based diet loaded with whole grains, brightly colored produce, and drink green tea. Let's all come together to pull the U.S. closer to the top of the list. 

 

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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