We’re a nation that’s obsessed with fitness trackers, protein powders, and athleisure, but despite our collective preoccupation with health, we’re really not all that healthy—according to the United Nations, at least.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) division recently released a comprehensive study that compiled and analyzed data from 188 countries from 1990 through 2015. Unfortunately, the data revealed some not-so-uplifting insight into our nation’s collective wellbeing. Not only is the U.S. not among the top 10 healthiest nations in the world, we didn’t even crack the top 20, a fact that may shock some, considering America's economic standing.
Researchers graded and ranked countries based on various health and living standards. On a scale of 1 to 100, one representing the worst and 100 the best, the U.S. ranked 69 on the scale measuring obesity in children aged two to four years old. Although childhood obesity rates have grown all across the globe, Christopher Murray, a global health professor at the University of Washington, stated, “The U.S. isn’t doing as well as it perhaps should compared with some countries in Western Europe.” Surely, we mustn’t forget that we bear the freedom to make health-conscious decisions regarding what we’re feeding our families and ourselves. But it definitely doesn’t help that the land of the free has more McDonald’s restaurants per capita than any other nation in the world. Yikes!
The U.S. also ranked poorly in the category measuring unsafe drinking patterns and alcohol abuse, which may just be a sobering enough fact to help some of us lay off the booze and choose wiser hydration options. We also received low marks in the categories for HIV, suicide, deaths related to natural disasters, and violence. However, on a brighter note, we did relatively well in the sanitation and water purity departments—so drink up, America! And don’t miss these 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss to discover some tasty ways to amp up the flavor of your H20!