The 12 unhealthiest countries in the world are evidence that despite how technologically advanced we have become, major problems still remain and a sustainable solution is yet to be developed.
While the world has enough resources to sustain life, the issue is that the distribution of the resources is so poor, some are able to benefit immensely while others have to do without. This is why around half of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, are below the poverty line, earning less than $2.50 daily. Poverty brings with it a slew of problems, not least is the lack of access to sanitation and healthcare, which in turn leads to severe long-term issues.
While Western Europe and countries such as Canada and the United States have developed significantly, developing countries are faced with many difficulties, such as lack of resources necessary to combat poor health and diseases. This is why diseases such as malaria, which have been nearly wiped out in the US and Europe, still maintain a significant influence in Africa and many Asian countries.
If you are wondering whether your country is among the 12 unhealthiest countries in the world, you will definitely be interested in reading on. Or, if your country is among the developed nations in the world, it might feature in our Country by Country Life Expectancy: the World’s 15 Healthiest Countries article.
To rank the unhealthiest countries in the world, we initially chose life expectancy as a criterion. While it is not absolutely necessary that a longer life means a healthier one (for eg. a man who has had heart disease since his 20s and lives a painful life till 70 versus a man who passes away at 60 due to an accident but was healthy till the incident), it is still a pretty safe assumption. Only countries which have advanced medical care and have developed techniques to not only fight but get rid of diseases can claim a higher life expectancy. This is the primary reason why Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. We traced the life expectancy figures from the World Health’s Organization Report.
That’s not the only indicator that a country needs to improve in the healthcare sector, though. As mentioned earlier, the ability to fight disease is necessary to improve health. However, it is not just the government’s responsibility but our own to take care of ourselves and maintain our health. That is not something many people take seriously, which is why they suffer from diseases, with one of the primary killers being a coronary disease. This doesn’t mean that lack of activities are responsible for coronary disease, it can be genetic as well. Whatever the reason, considering the death toll attributed to the disease. If it is prevalent in a nation, it is an indicator that the nation has serious health issues. While science has still not advanced enough to combat heart disease, which is genetic, a healthy regiment including a proper diet and exercise can still help be useful in reducing the chances of falling to the illness. To trace the statistics pertaining to coronary heart disease, we used the help of World Life Expectancy.
Another result of poor choices and lack of activity is obesity, which is probably one of the most serious issues facing both developed and developing countries, with even countries such as the US being forced to deal with it. In some countries, more than half the population is obese, which is a concerning thought. You may be surprised to know that the average man today weighs around 30 pounds more than the average man in the 1960s. While the food was just a method of survival previously, the amount of junk food present in today’s life is one of the main reasons behind this epidemic. This is why it is the third criterion for our ranking. The information in relation to this was provided once again by the World Health Organization. While the Cook Islands have the most obese population in the world and Palau takes the second spot, they don’t even make our list because they performed well in the other factors.
Now, what is one of the most harmful and unhealthiest activities known to man? If you were thinking of smoking, then pat yourself on the back. Even though everyone knows how harmful this activity is, they still engage in it, and due to the massive profits and lobbying by cigarette companies, the governments in the world do little to regulate or prohibit it. This is why in 2014 alone, 5.8 trillion cigarettes were smoked, a habit which has been picked up by over a billion people worldwide. I have no idea why anyone, let alone a billion people, would throw away their health and their lives for a fleeting rush. The developed countries seem to agree with me though, which is why smoking is on the decline in such countries, including the US, while it is still increasing in developing countries, mainly due to the fact that it is cheap and widely available. Thus, we decided to make it the final criteria to establish our rankings. We required the help of Tobacco Atlas to find out the number of smokers per capita. While Montenegro, with 4,124 cigarettes per adult, come out on top, but due to a low obesity rate, heart disease risk and high life expectancy, it also managed to avoid making our ranking.
Without further ado, let’s check the 12 unhealthiest countries in the world!