Lifestyle secrets of the world’s healthiest countries

Interesting Health Tips from around the world. What’s your favourite?

Weight of the world. Photo:
The world’s fattest country, if measured by Body Mass Index (BMI) is Kuwait, according to the Mail Online. With an average of 29.5 they are well above what’s considered healthy.
“A healthy BMI for an adult is between 18.5 and 24.9 and it’s calculated by dividing your weight by your height squared (BMI = weight / (height) x (height)),” says Clinical Dietitian Dr Naras Lapsys of The Body Doctor.
Australia also performed poorly, recording an average BMI of 27.5, making us the 17th fattest nation in the world.
On your bike: incidental exercise improves our odds of a healthy BMI.
So what lifestyle lessons can we learn from some of our healthier cousin countries?
NETHERLANDSIn a country where bikes out number people, it’s not surprising the Netherlands scored a healthier average BMI of 25.
“The Dutch do a large amount of incidental activity mostly done through active travel,” says Adrian Bauman, a professor of public health of The University of Sydney. “40 per cent of the country travels by bike, those who drive a car are in the minority.”
Renee Veldman-Tentori is an Australian living in the Netherlands and says the infrastructure of the major towns support this cycling obsession. “I cycled everywhere until the last week of my pregnancies and even now I put my kids in the bike trailer to get around,” she says. Only the cold weather stops us a little, but then we just use public transport instead.”
Healthy Tip – Increase incidental exercise. Leave the car at home and use public transport or walk to your destination on a more regular basis.
JAPANJapan performed exceptionally well recording an average BMI of 22.5 and Kim Ferris who lived in Tokyo for 22 years says that obesity is virtually non-existent.
Portion control and eating a wide variety of foods are the foundation of a Japanese diet and boosts your intake of important vitamins and minerals. “A Japanese diet is high in the nutrient-rich soy and their daily consumption of fish offers a high omega 3 intake, all important for optimal health,” says Dr Lapsys.
Ferris says each meal in a Japanese diet can consist of up to six teacup-sized portions of different foods with vegetables forming a large component of every meal. “Unusual foods such as Natto (fermented soy beans) and five or six varieties of seaweed are eaten daily. These are highly regarded by the Japanese for their health properties,” she says.
Healthy Tip – Increase the variety of your diet. “Japanese people aim to eat 30 – 40 different things every day,” says Ferris.
NORWAYThe Norwegians recorded an average BMI of 25.3 largely due to a culture that favours an active lifestyle. Infrastructure such as indoor stadiums and outdoor lighting encourage locals to get out and about even in the winter months.

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