(SNO) — A new global health ranking has identified Saint Lucia as the second unhealthiest country out of 20 unhealthiest countries in the world in 2019.
The Indigo Wellness Index placed the island in that position due to binge-drinking, blood-pressure, and blood-glucose scores.
The index is compiled and led by Richard Davies at economics consultancy, Bloomsbury Economics.
It create a series of rankings based on 10 key measures, ordering the countries from the weakest performers (ranked 1) to the strongest (ranked, for example, 191).
The 10 measures were healthy life expectancy, blood pressure, blood glucose (diabetes risk), obesity, depression, happiness, alcohol use, tobacco use, inactivity (too little exercise), and government spending on healthcare.
On the Index, the worst score is O while the best score is one.
Saint Lucia’s score was 0.29, just below South Africa which stood at 0.29.
Based on the Index, South Africa is the most unhealthy country in the world.
Other countries in the Caribbean fared much better than Saint Lucia.
Barbados ranked the fifth unhealthiest country in the world due to blood pressure, depression, obesity, inactivity, and binge drinking, while Haiti was ranked ninth, scoring poorly on happiness, state spending, and life expectancy.
Below are the unhealthiest countries in the world based on the index in ascending order.
=18. Samoa — 0.41. Blood glucose levels, obesity, and binge drinking put this country into the top 20.
=18. Dominican Republic — 0.41. High levels of depression, drinking, and blood pressure gave this Caribbean nation an identical score.
=18. Egypt — 0.41. Low government spending on healthcare, high diabetes risk, and obesity levels tied Egypt for 18.
=16. Jamaica — 0.40. The Caribbean island of Jamaica scored poorly across a number of measures, including obesity, state spending, smoking, depression, and blood glucose.
=16. Latvia — 0.40. Blood pressure and binge drinking were to blame for Latvia’s place in the top 20.
=14. Trinidad and Tobago — 0.39. This dual-island Caribbean nation received poor scores for depression, blood pressure, and blood glucose.
=14. Serbia — 0.39. This Balkan country scored poorly because of a lack of exercise and alarming blood-pressure scores.
=12. Ukraine — 0.38. Depression and blood pressure were the categories that Ukraine scored poorly on. The country has been involved in a military conflict with Russia for years.
=12. Lithuania — 0.38. The same two categories — depression and blood pressure — tied this European country for the No. 12 spot.
=9. Georgia — 0.37. A number of categories stood out for Georgia, including diet (high levels of obesity and blood glucose), depression, and binge drinking.
=9. Iraq — 0.37. Inactivity, low life expectancy, lack of state spending, low levels of happiness, and high levels of obesity were the most concerning factors here.
=9. Haiti — 0.37. Haiti scored poorly on happiness, state spending, and life expectancy.
8. Central African Republic — 0.36. Life expectancy and state spending were the standout categories for this African country.
7. Armenia – 0.35. This Asian country is the seventh unhealthiest because of its blood-glucose, blood-pressure, and depression scores.
=5. Barbados — 0.34. It may seem idyllic, but this Caribbean country had alarming scores across a wide variety of categories, including blood pressure, depression, obesity, inactivity, and binge drinking.
=5. Federated States of Micronesia — 0.34. Obesity, drinking, and low government spending on health tied Micronesia for fifth place.
4. Bulgaria — 0.33. Sunny Beach may look like the perfect holiday spot, but Bulgaria is the fourth unhealthiest country because of blood pressure, depression, and drinking.
3. Kiribati — 0.31. Obesity is the biggest concern in this country in Oceania, putting it in third place.
2. St. Lucia — 0.29. Binge-drinking, blood-pressure, and blood-glucose scores made St. Lucia the second unhealthiest country.
1. South Africa — 0.28. Scoring poorly on all measures, South Africa’s scores for obesity, drinking, and life expectancy in particular made it the unhealthiest country in 2019.