(Breather) The World Happiness Report is the ultimate authority on global happiness, ranking 156 countries by their happiness levels. It’s pretty interesting looking at the list of the Top 10 happiest countries in 2018, as determined by the latest study:

  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Sweden
  10. Australia

 

Similarly, The Bloomberg Health Index ranks the healthiest countries in the world based on several factors, including life expectancy, health risks, availability of clean water, malnutrition, and causes of death.

 

Here are the Top 10 healthiest countries in the world:

 

  1. Italy
  2. Iceland
  3. Switzerland
  4. Singapore
  5. Australia
  6. Spain
  7. Japan
  8. Sweden
  9. Israel
  10. Luxembourg

 

Wait, where’s the USA on that list? Yikes! It looks like we didn’t make the cut: we happen to rank as the #34 healthiest country, in large part due to our high levels of overweight and obese residents.

 

If you prefer to look at just life expectancy as the primary metric for health, here are the countries that come out on top:

 

  1. Hong Kong (84.3 years)
  2. Japan (83.8 years)
  3. Italy (83.5 years)
  4. Spain (83.4 years)
  5. Switzerland (83.2 years)
  6. Iceland (82.9 years)
  7. France (82.7 years)
  8. Singapore (82.6 years)
  9. Sweden (82.6 years)
  10. Australia (82.5 years)

 

Where does the US rank? At #37 in life expectancy, with an average of 78.7 years.

Now, there are currently half a million centenarians living on the planet – but the highest concentrations of them reside in places with infamously high longevity, like the Okinawa in Japan, the Ikaria off of the coast of Greece, but not in the US…unless you count the Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. And it’s important to note that the groups who had recorded the highest rates of longevity also seem to be the ones who have let’s say, less than impressive record keeping practices…But still, there is plenty to learn from the groups of people who have had consistently impressive longevity. And what about the world’s oldest person, Jeanne Calment? Her diet consisted of beef, chocolate, red wine, and… a lot of cigarettes (well, she was French)…and yet, she lived to be 122 years old. Of course, you can’t discount genetics – and maybe Jeanne had a little extra something going on to help her make it to 122 (there’s a whole conspiracy theory regarding her daughter about that now), but at the same time, genes don’t always factor in as much as you think. This is why it drives me nuts when I’m at the doctor’s office and get asked questions like, “What’s your family history with heart disease?” Hello! Maybe my family was eating nasty hot dogs, smoking cigarettes, and living an all around trash lifestyle – you never know – so why would that be relevant to my health, when it’s so far removed from my current lifestyle?

That’s not to say you should completely ignore your genes. If you have a genetic predisposition to obesity, heart disease, etc, then you better be on top of it – otherwise those adverse genetic factors will manifest into some serious health problems later on. But regardless of genetic predispositions, you don’t need to suffer from the same fate as your family. On the opposite end of this spectrum, if your parents and family members enjoyed long lives in spite of eating crap, smoking, and drinking too much, then that’s not an excuse to follow their example and expect that you can do the same and enjoy good health. No way! Your genes should inform your decisions, but not rule them.

I wrap up with a very important warning, cautioning you to be extra, super-hypervigilant when it comes to your devices, earbuds, and EMF. We haven’t even begun to tap into all the negative effects of EMF and yet the influx of new products and improved, faster, shinier, brighter technology is on a never ending loop. Never mind the fact that it might be seriously terrible for your health! Check this out: Dave Asprey got a bone scan that showed his right femur had 20% less bone density than his left – and where does he carry his cell-phone? For years, it’s been in his right hand pocket. Coincidence? I think not.

I’ll admit, even I broke down and got the wireless Apple earbuds, and while I’ve been happy to be free of that pesky chord that I always found myself tripping on or getting tangled up in, I can’t help but worry: am I sending EMF waves directly from my phone to my ears? I try to use them as sparingly as possible, but you never know…

What I do know is this: the US didn’t place in the top 10 on any of these lists. Clearly, we are lagging behind, stuck in the very sorry space on that list, the mid-30s, and it’s time we climb up towards the top! At #37, we certainly have a long road ahead of us to catch up, but there’s nothing wrong with starting small…Share this episode with someone you know who could use a little inspiration to improve their happiness and/or health. You never know… they could share it with someone, who could then share it with someone….

TIMESTAMPS:

Brad discusses a study on happiness and how far away the US is compared to European countries in many attributes. [04:08]

Another study on health index ranks the healthiest countries. [05:06]

Life expectancy in the US is ranked 37th with an average of 78.7 years. [07:33]

There are half a million centenarians on the planet now.  [08:54]

What are the dangers of the new 5G cellular service? [14:44]

The cell phone and ear buds and all those new devices are maybe harming  our bodies. [15:42]

Brad summarizes the statistics and urges listeners to improve the stats. [16:59]

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