It's the beginning of a New Year and the time to recover after the indulgence of Christmas. Not surprisingly, European consumers are seeing the results of this in their expanded waistlines.
January always seems like a good time to take stock of our health and food choices. This applies to the supermarket industry, as well as consumers themselves.
Where are we going wrong when it comes to our culinary habits? And what better choices can we make for our overall health?
Sweden Is The Healthiest Country In Europe
With this in mind, ESM decided to examine the findings of a recent health study carried out by Snuff Store. The study rated each European country on a number of different health factors, including life expectancy and obesity rates.
Each country was given a score out of 10 for each factor, which was then totalled to provide a score on the health index. The higher the score, the healthier the country is. Sweden came out on top, followed by Finland and Moldova.
Here we examine each top ten country below to see how they scored individually:
Finland also has low obesity rates and high life expectancy (82). The Finnish are also some of the most physically active, with only 16% of the population being insufficiently active, according to the WHO.
Moldova has the second lowest obesity rates in Europe. These low levels could be put down to the percentage of the population that is insufficiently active, which according to the WHO, is the lowest in Europe.
Belarus has one of the lowest levels of physical inactivity in Europe. Belarusians do smoke and drink more than other nations, however, it still has a below-average obesity rate and low levels of depression reported.
Despite having the highest smoking rates out of the Scandinavian countries, Norway is still one of the lowest in Europe at 10%. Norwegians also drink less than most other nations and have a lower-than-average obesity rate at 23%.
Iceland has a high life expectancy of 82 years and has healthier habits with lower alcohol consumption as well. It also has the second lowest percentage of smokers in Europe with only 7.5% of the population classed as smokers.
Switzerland has the third lowest obesity rate in Europe and the highest life expectancy, at 84 years.
France has an obesity rate of 21%. Only 17% of the population smoke, which is high in the top 10, but lower than average in comparison to the rest of Europe. France has the most doctors per 1,000 people in Europe.
Belgium has low smoking rates, high life expectancy, and lower-than-average depression reports. Belgium also has a great healthcare system, with six doctors for every 1,000 people.
10. United Kingdom
Smoking rates in the UK are at 15% which is lower than much of Europe, however, the UK has a higher obesity rate at 27%, this could be due to the higher percentage of the population who are insufficiently active. Despite this, life expectancy is 82 years, which is one of the highest.
There is a common thread amongst each of the top ten European countries for health - less alcohol, less tobacco, more exercise, and access to good healthcare. The supermarket industry could also contribute to the health of European citizens by providing better food choices and more affordable options when it comes to eating healthily.
It seems no coincidence that many of the top ten countries also score very high for being among the 'happiest' countries in the world. In 2022, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland were all named in the top ten list for the happiest countries in the world based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.