More than half of Israelis overweight, OECD report finds
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Israeli teens least likely to do daily vigorous activity

More than half of Israelis overweight, OECD report finds

Israelis still thinner than most developed countries, and living longer, thanks to higher health care spending and less smoking, according to survey

Illustrative: A man measures his belly. (Ljupco/ iStock via Getty images)
Illustrative: A man measures his belly. (Ljupco/ iStock via Getty images)

More than half of all Israeli adults are overweight or obese according to a report released Sunday, which also found that people in Israel are living 10 years longer than in 1970.

Israel is the 15th thinnest of the 43 nations covered by the “Health at a Glance 2017” survey released by the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Nonetheless 53 percent of Israelis are overweight, with a body mass index of over 25, including 16.6% who are obese, with a BMI of over 30.

The numbers are still below the OECD average of 54% for overweight and 19% for obese.

In the US, Hungary, New Zealand and Mexico, over 30% of the population is obese.

Japan is the thinnest nation and Mexico and the US are the two countries with the fattest citizens.

Percentage of population that is overweight and obese in 2015. (OECD)

There was also good news along with the bad.

The OECD survey found life expectancy for Israelis has increased by 10 years since 1970, with an average person now living to the age of 82.1. In 1970, the average Israeli only lived to be 71.8-years-old.

The number dovetailed with the OECD average of 10 years of added life expectancy across the bloc of developed nations.

For Israeli men, the average life expectancy is 80.1 years and Israeli women on average live four years longer, to the age of 84.1.

Average Israeli life expectancy 2015. (OECD)

Japan has the highest average life expectancy, with 83.9 and Latvia has the lowest, with 74.6.

Average life expectancy for men with higher education is 7.5 years longer than for those without. For women, the gap is five years.

The study found that the increase was thanks to a drop in unhealthy lifestyles and better health care.

“Empirical results demonstrate that while life expectancy depends on factors both within and beyond the health system, health spending has been a major driver of life expectancy gains in recent decades… Education and income have also made significant contributions to life expectancy gains…” along with decreased alcohol use and less smoking, the study read.

The survey found that smoking has declined throughout the OECD, and in Israel, only 19.6% of people smoke daily.

Israelis drink an average of 2.6 liters of alcohol a year, third lowest in the OECD.

Israeli teens eat more vegetables than those in almost all other countries, with only Belgians consuming more. But Israeli teens are also the least likely to do daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Israel has the highest rate of colon cancer survival in the OECD, at 71.7%, compared to an average of just 62.8%.

Israel also has the fifth lowest suicide rate among developed nations.

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