(JTA) — Israel is the 10th healthiest country in the world — 54 spots ahead of the United States.
The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, published Feb. 24, ranked 169 nations based on factors such as life expectancy and access to sanitation and medical care. Countries were penalized for tobacco use and obesity, among other health risks.
Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean diet — common in Israel, as well as Spain and Italy, numbers one and two on the list — was noted in Bloomberg’s analysis.
“Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet,” says a study cited by Bloomberg.
The rest of the top 10, in order, are: Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and Norway.
The U.S. placed 64th, largely in part to its high obesity rate. Recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control estimate about 40 percent of the country, or over 93 million citizens, are obese.