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Inspired by Iceland?

This little news item is just too tasty to pass up [shamelessly filched from visir.is].

A new OECD report reveals that 60% of Icelanders are overweight. Twenty percent of us are obese. This puts Iceland in 7th place of the 33 most overweight nations in the world. By comparison, the other Nordic nations are way below average.

Sticking to Nordic comparisons, Icelandic children and adolescents have twice as many cavities as comparison groups in Sweden, and worse teeth than kids in the other Nordic nations. Perhaps understandable, when you consider that the average Icelander imbibes about a kg of sugar per week.

We Icelanders also have higher rates of chlamydia than our Nordic neighbours.

We hold the world record for highest food prices and the number of melanoma cases among Icelandic women are the highest in the world.

Icelanders also hold the world record when it comes to consumption of anti-depressants, which may account for the fact that we’ve also been measured as the happiest nation in the world.

Meanwhile, longevity in Iceland is about two years longer than in most other OECD nations. Go figure.

Anyway, not exactly the image we’ve liked to present of ourselves: the most beautiful women in the world, strongest men, happy, healthy etc.etc.

On the upside, we seem to have a sense of humour, because this news item has passed through Icelandic cyberspace like wildfire and everyone seems to think it’s hilarious.

Comments

comments

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  • Rajan Parrikar September 27, 2010, 11:32 pm

    The US retains its obesity crown. The data for Iceland is from 2007.

    http://www.oecd.org/document/35/0,3343,en_21571361_44315115_46064099_1_1_1_1,00.html

    The problem with these statistics is that they can lead to erroneous conclusions. For instance, the chart shows obesity for India to be 1%. Sure, if 200 million (a little under 20% of India’s pop.) cannot get enough nutrition the stats will come out skewed. You have to compare Indians from the comparable economic class, and when you pit the sedentary whiskey-swilling, pot-bellied, pseudo-American-accent wearing pompous Indian against an equivalent Western male, it has the potential to turn out to be a photo finish. These stats also (probably – I haven’t looked at the detailed report) don’t account for genetic proclivities in certain populations, such as susceptibility to heart disease and so on.

  • Rik Hardy September 28, 2010, 1:25 am

    Hee hee!

  • Daniel Harðarson September 28, 2010, 1:53 am

    I don’t think iceland is going to hold the longevity crown for much longer given this upcoming generations dietary habits, i mean, there is a special day once a week where binge candy consumption is encouraged by 50% price cuts. 🙂

  • Tom Harper September 28, 2010, 5:27 pm

    Statistics be damned, everyone there still seemed hot to me. Is Iceland perhaps suffering from the ills that come with increasing globalisation and urbanisation? What is so different about how the other Nordic countries deal with it?

  • Rajan Parrikar September 28, 2010, 6:34 pm

    Daniel Harðarson: “…special day once a week where binge candy consumption is encouraged by 50% price cuts…”

    Dark chocolate is said to be good for you. But my guess is that binge of anything (except sex) is bad for you.

  • alda September 28, 2010, 6:42 pm

    Oh, but binging on sex can be bad for you too. Just ask Tiger Woods.

  • Margrét Lukka September 29, 2010, 12:55 pm

    In comparison to the other nordic countries Iceland is much more “American”… you find way more American products on grocery store shelves and fast food chains in Iceland than the other nordic countries. As far as dental health goes, Iceland is the only nordic country that does not provide free or very low cost dental service to children under 18. Sadly, lots of Icelandic kids are never or very rarely seen by a dentist.

  • sylvia hikins September 29, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Having just got back from a week in the backwoods (well, there are quite a few trees now in Iceland) of Iceland, I noticed that lots of Icelanders were eating quite nasty junk food.Could this be because it is cheap and filling (ie: Kreppa food)? It’s going to cost your Health Service one hell of a load of money in a few years. Do the kids get decent food in school? We could send you Jamie Oliver as a good will gesture!!!!!
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • David October 2, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Okay! Now I understand why everyone seems to where variations of black, grey and white with very little color (except blue jeans or a say a scarf) in Iceland! Always wondered about that.