The Unhealthiest Country in the World is the United States
The U.S. is the unhealthiest country globally because of its high obesity rate and the heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that go along with it.
America has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world—and it's not just adults who are getting heavier and heavier: childhood obesity is also a problem.
What makes the U.S. unhealthy
Americans overeat, and the majority of their diet comes from unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats. This causes obesity. Obesity has been tied to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, two leading causes of death in America.
Smoking rates have been steadily declining since 1964, but as a whole, Americans still smoke more than most developed nations—even though smoking is known to cause lung cancer and other deadly diseases. Alcohol intake also remains higher than average worldwide compared to other countries. America's alcohol consumption accounts for about 10% of the global total despite Americans making up only 5% of people on Earth!
How the U.S. compares to other countries
The U.S.'s obesity rate is higher than that of other developed nations—even those with large populations of low-income people who are often assumed to have diets heavy on processed foods and fatty meats (like Mexico). The obesity rate in America is often estimated at 15%. In some areas like Alabama, Mississippi, and West Virginia, the obesity rate may be even higher. This is because these states are relatively poor. Americans in poverty tend to eat diets with higher salt and sugar content.
The U.S. also has a diabetes epidemic. More than 30 million adults have been diagnosed, as well as more than 9 million children.
The USA is among a handful of countries that spend at least 10% of their total health budget on diabetes treatment each year (alongside Saudi Arabia and Mexico).
Preventable conditions kill many people in the United States
You may be surprised to learn that the United States is considered by many to be the unhealthiest country in the world.
The U.S. has very high rates of death from heart disease and cancer. It also has one of the highest rates of stroke deaths. Other preventable diseases like diabetes, respiratory disease (including emphysema), cirrhosis (liver damage caused by alcohol abuse) and kidney failure kill millions of Americans every year.