l “We’re Number Ten!” isn’t usually a rallying cry, but Israelis have the right to kvell after the Jewish state placed 10th in the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index. Apparently, the stress of living in the Middle East is outweighed by all the freshly chopped salad.
The Bloomberg index marked Spain as the healthiest country in the world, overtaking Italy, which won last year but now comes in second. The other healthiest nations this year, in order, are Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, Norway, and Israel. Not bad company at all.
Meanwhile, Canada came in at 16th place, far ahead of the United States and Mexico, which came in at 35th and 53rd place, respectively.
The Bloomberg index ranks 169 countries according to variables such as life expectancy, obesity, sanitation, access to clean water, and tobacco use -— the last of which Israel can definitely improve upon.
Bloomberg attributed the Mediterranean countries’ high ranking in part to their Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, healthy nuts, and fresh vegetables. The same might go toward explaining Israel’s favorable ranking.
While Israel dropped one place since the last evaluation in 2017, it still fared pretty well, both in this index and other recent lists, including the United Nations’ 2018 World Happiness Report, where Israel made 11th place out of 156 countries. Perhaps that last one has to do less with salad and more with burekas.