5 Mar, 2013 @ 15:41
1 min read

Spain is healthiest country in EU

health league pic

PEOPLE living in Spain are officially the healthiest in Europe.

According to the European League Table, comprised of data collected over a 20 year period by medical journal, Lancet, Spain is the healthiest place to live compared with 18 other countries in the EU.

Ranking number one for life expectancy, Spanish residents live for an average of 81.4 years-two years longer than people living in Britain.

They can also expect to enjoy up to 70.9 years of good health, compared with only 68.6 years of healthy life for the average Brit.

The UK was left lagging behind in 12th place behind Greece, Ireland and Germany.

A combination of factors has been attributed to the results including healthy eating, attitudes to drinking and a warmer climate.

Frances Leate

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  1. I’m not sure if people trying to live and work in Spain are stress free Steve. If you mean the attitude to work is do as less as possible, then yes, that must help lol.

  2. Lancet is a highly respected medical journal. If Lancet says this, I believe it.

    I live in Andalucía (unlike some other regulars, I live in Spain) and can vouch for everything in that article. I moved here just over 5 years ago and feel that it has already added several years to my life expectancy.

    Maureen, if you can, come.

  3. “I … feel that it has already added several years to my life expectancy”

    But has it really Tony? Moving to a country surely cannot increase life expectancy, by itself. If you lived in Spain all of your life, ate healthily and had a laid back attitude and no stressful job etc, then maybe it would increase life expectancy. You cannot escape your previous lifestyle just by moving lol.

  4. How do you know we haven’t met? I might be your neighbour.

    Anyway, I take it that you agree that just moving to a country is unlikely to increase life expectancy? One has to take into account one’s entire life (diet, lifestyle etc) surely?

  5. Fred, my goodness do you ever write anything postive. Yes, moving can bring about change to your life expectancy. People tend to adapt to the new environment thus creating a different lifestyle and habits which can improve one’s health greatly (that’s if it is a healthy lifestyle).

  6. “Yes, moving can bring about change to your life expectancy.”

    Got any proof of that Christine? It’s one thing to write positively, and another to just make stuff up lol.

  7. Sorry to disappoint you Fred but I don’t write to make stuff up and I also don’t troll articles to always write negative comments. Check out info on Vilcabamba which proves a point. Also I personally have had great health improvements as well. Here’s to a long healthy and happy life to all of us. Have a good one.

  8. Christine, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Furthermore, the article was based on research carried out by Lancet, and I quote “…comprised of data collected over a 20 year period by medical journal, Lancet…”

    Of course Lancet may have made the whole thing up, but I doubt it.

    I have never read anything positive written by Fred in the Olive Press comments sections. All I read are snide attacks. Maybe it´s time to rethink the Olive Press´s corporate approach to censorship.

  9. Some of the brits I have seen smoke more and drink more and do less excercise so whilst the Spanish may live longer with thier manana attitude I reckon a lot of the brits die earlier in Spain!!!

  10. Maybe to retire in Spain would increase life expectancy but owning a business here and doing things right has taken years off my life for sure. Someone once told me that Spain is a good place to retire as long as you dont have to deal with tax offices, town halls and schools, how true that is.i In my business life I have loads of competition in the town where I live but nothing compares to my main competition which is the government and state

  11. Sometimes yes Fred needs censoring … And sometimes we do, but hey, I think he has raised some valid points.
    Interesting discussion…and yes, it was the Lancet and not the Daily Mail.

  12. Quite hilarious that because Tony and Christine don’t agree wirh my viewpoint, they instead want to censor the discussion. Tony wouldn’t know a snide attack if it bit him on the bum lol. What an over reaction.

    The Lancet is well respected, but it’s not definitive. Moving to a warm country can certainly improve health and assist some medical conditions (like arthritis etc) but to leap from that to increasing life expectancy is a big leap. I agree that if you live in Spain from birth and eat a healthy diet and have no stress, e.g. become a goat herder, you’ll probably live a bit longer.

    My personal view is that Spain stresses out many expats and actually decreases their life expectancy. Retiring and living/working, as Mark correctly points out, are such different things.

  13. I’d rather live in the sunshine being able to go OUTSIDE than huddled up out of the cold and rain stuck INSIDE looking at a gas fire back in the uk. Ignore any put downs and celebrate living in a healthier climate. Also best to ignore Fred too.. he poison’s people’s minds on this website! not the best social skill to have is it… Viva España!

  14. I reckon Mr Positive is Roger, I knew he would be back!! It makes sense doesn’t it, if you have had 65 bad years in the UK, smoking, drinking and stressed out, you don’t just get another few years extra because you moved to Spain. On the TV this morning, someone stated that vegetarians live longer, but that is not because they are vegetarians, it is because most vegetarians exercise more, don’t smoke as much and are more careful about their health.

  15. Fred, I never said anything about censoring you. I do not agree with your negative snide remarks(on everything) but it is your right to state your opinion, as it is my right to state mine. The point is…everyone has his/her personal accounts on the health issue,what works for them-works for them.
    Thank you Tony and there is nothing wrong with your use of “comprised of” it is simply a matter of writing style.
    As always, have a good one.

  16. Christine, I am prepared to own up to anything I have either said or done. However, I never used the term “comprised of”. I merely quoted it from the source.

    And that source? The original Olive Press article!

    Fred claims to know a lot about me, even though we have never met. Indeed he goes as far as suggesting he might be my neighbour. And that tells you everything about how well he knows me, or rather where I live.

  17. Mr Positive didn’t mention that Andalucia is currently underwater with many severe weather warnings lol. Winter in Spain can be just as bad as the winter in the UK, but not if you believe “A place in the Sun” lol.

    Christine, I’m glad you agree that my experiences of living in Spain are not any less valid than yours.

  18. Try little Portugal, and particularly the Algarve…..freshest of air, washed by the Atlantic, same for fish and local fruit. Nothing so easy as ‘tranquilo’! Food on the charcoal grill….Vinho Verde and thousands of Tinto’s for the fussy.
    Only you can screw that up!! Everything takes longer here than anywhere…..but we do come over the Guadiana for more ‘alegria’ when needing a ‘kick’!

  19. er.. who’s Roger?
    It’s better weather in Spain over the whole year. You can’t argue against that. This time of year you get storms as the temperature changes. It’s just hot air (Fred) meeting colder air.

  20. @Mr P: You don’t just get storms this time of year, the excessively wet weather can run from December to May in Andalucia. It has for all the years I’ve lived here. I doubt you even live in Spain otherwise you’d know this lol.

  21. Well, well, well. So Fred would have us believe that the winter rains can fall anytime between December and May in Andalucía.

    If you believe that, you are capable of believing any cock and bull story.

  22. Fred, yes I do live in Spain. I’ve read a few of your comments lately and they seem to mainly be provocative and cynical. I for one love the summers here. That’s what siestas are for, with people sitting outside their houses and bars socialising in the warm summer nights for months.

    I would be interested to know why you actually live in Spain? & have such downdtrodden views on this country rather than simply returning to the uk?

  23. @Mr P, I’m surprised that you live in Spain and know so little nothing about the weather here. @Tony, you must be related to Michael Fish lol. November 2012 was the worst rain for 100 years and every month since has also had terrible rainstorms; just read this paper to see all the floods – no cock and bull there, just plain facts. One of the worst storms in living memory in Andalucia happened as late as May.

    Sure, the summer weather will be great, if you like baking to death, which is why the Spanish think we are mad walking about in the daytime. The evenings are a different matter and are the best time to be out in the summer, agreed.

  24. Fred, again talking confrontational NON-sense. Of course it rains in winter. Why do you think the terrains have their appearance.

    I ask again, WHY do you live here rather than the uk? Eres un tonto!

  25. @Mr P, what is confrontational about saying that Andalucia experiences extreme rainfall and flooding? It’s just a fact, and it comes as a surprise to many people who have moved here. What is the nonsense in stating basic facts lol.

  26. Fred, so why do you live here?

    Every post I read from you about Andalucía is so negative that I really don´t see why anyone with those attitudes would choose to live anywhere in Spain.

    Maybe that´s the answer. You don´t live in Andalucía at all, and never have done.

  27. @Tony, when you prove that you live here I’ll prove that I do too. Extreme weather is a negative subject by its very definition and saying it is a ‘confrontational’ or ‘negative’ subject is just meaningless babble.

  28. How about this?

    Now it´s your turn.

    “saying it is a ‘confrontational’ or ‘negative’ subject is just meaningless babble.”
    Fred, I think you are confusing me with some else.

  29. If you buy the book – it costs just €10 if you live in Spain – inside the front and back flaps there is a spiel about me and Eva, including the name of the village where we live.

    Your turn.

  30. Anyone can say they are Tony Bishop, even I can post as Tony Bishop. Obviously you could not have walked much in the Ronda mountains not to know about the excessive rainfall in Spain. “Spiel” is a word you should use more Tony, lol.

  31. Fred, I’m not sure what your problem is. Yes it rains in Andalucia in winter (rain that’s needed) but it’s also not called the ‘Desert of Europe’ for nothing.

    I think a nerve has been struck by asking you a simple question…


  32. It can also go to minus 10c in Southern Spain or more. It is not as cold as the UK but the houses have no mains gas and they are freezing in general as they are not built to keep the heat in. The winters can drag there and it has been hotter in April in the UK than Spain on many occassion. It is hotter in mainland Spain than the UK but it is not the Canaries. Even in th ebeach areas it will fall to minus. Nice to see you back Roger.

  33. You’ve me me confused with someone REAP? (good name). Agree with the you about prolonged winters, but when the sun’s out it’s hot in winter too (just like mid summer in the uk). Roll on one more month then most of Spain should be ok until mid October again. Unlike the 2 week or ONE week summer back in the uk. Spain needs rain in winters for the rest of the year – just not recent deluges.

    Any positive comments Fred and Reap (and anyone else) about why you like living here? or don’t you? or just miserable maybe…

  34. Mr P, I just love living here in Andalucía. The list of reasons is probably infinite but I´ll list just a few.

    1. Although we live in the mountains near Ronda, the winter days are relatively mild. I have lived here and I have NEVER experienced temperatures of minus 10º, even at nighttime. Maybe Reap lives in Granada province.

    2. The health service in the village could not be better. Phone between 8:00 and 8:30-ish for a same morning appointment, even for something routine. I used to live in the UK and cannot remember the last time that happened.

    3. My health (the subject of this piece, remember) has improved no end. Mountain walks coupled with a Mediterranean diet did the trick. (I retired well before I moved here.)

    4. I am a man of modest means and could never afford to live in England´s sole mountainous area, the Lake District. Here I live in a mountain village with a zero crime rate and can walk all day without meeting another soul. In winter (December – January) we often walk in short-sleeves, something unimaginable in the UK.

    Yes we get rain in the winter. And that is swiftly followed by a warm/hot 4 – 5 month period when people plan outdoor barbecues several weeks ahead because they know there will be no rainfall.

    By the way, every house in the village, including the surrounding rural area, is completely legal. Maybe that´s because we live in a Natural Park.

    I could go on and on, but by now you will have caught my drift.

    Thanks for asking the question.

  35. Thanks Tony, great to hear your positive views on here. It’s a bit draining to read the same people putting a country they moved to down.

    We never got out much in the uk, mainly because of the weather (it is important). Here we can’t get out enough! Every sunny market day, socialising, practicing Spanish, going to a couple of bars for small beers & tapas (without just drinking pint after pint, pressured into getting round after round) is fantastic, and doesn’t cost the earth.

    The healthcare we’ve experienced has been immediate too.

    We saw a program about living in areas around Torrevieja with it’s nearby salt plains, saying it was one of the healthiest places to live ‘in the world’. An exageration surely?

    Let’s hope for better economic times ahead and that people think harder, protest more about corruption, & try their best to talk constructively rather than pointing out the bad things & giving up. That’s easy to do! Especially when people do that then laugh, when commenting on here.

  36. @Mr P, talking about the weather is not putting a country down, you must get a grip on reality. Btw, yellow alert weather warning today. Are you going out today for a nice walk? lol

  37. The weather in Spain is better, I can’t argue with that but when I was there recently people were telling me that their utility bills are more than mine in the UK, and they had a property half the size of where I live and they were on the coast. I did live in Spain but had enough and left. Dealing with the fraudsters / politicians is the same as negotiating with retards. I have a property on the coast as well and I can tell you it is not always hot and does fall to minus, but trying to keep those tiled floors and properties warm is expensive with the high cost of bottled gas, wood or electric. The electric is really expensive in Spain, much more the UK. If you google Almeria snowfall you will probably see a few years ago the crops were wiped out by snow on the coast. There is a lot more to do in the UK than Spain and at least I do not have to deal with the corruption. I may consider living there again one day but the politicians and Town Hall staff just take the shine off of the place. The environment you live in and not just the sun is important. I have owned properties in Spain for 15 years, been there, done it.

  38. @Tony, if the article is about health, then why do you keep mentioning the weather in the UK? At least I mention the weather in Spain. You just can’t keep to topic and keep going off on a tangent lol.

  39. Just on about you in general Fred on here putting Spanish things down then LAUGHING, rather than talking constructively. I’ll pass the baton if anyone fancies taking over.. I’m.. about to go into… a coma.. adios

  40. Fred, you said “Tony, when you prove that you live here I’ll prove that I do too.”

    You didn´t believe what I posted. That´s fine by me. Now how about your providing some proof?

    Until you do that, your credibility on here is worthless.

  41. @Tony, you still haven’t proved that you live here. You cannot even prove that you are “Tony Bishop” so please don’t talk about credibility. Who needs credibility to talk about the weather anyway lol.

  42. Three times I asked Fred for evidence that he lives in Spain. Three times there was none forthcoming.

    I think it´s safe to assume that Fred doesn´t live in Spain.

  43. As I said, the weather is better in Spain than the UK but I drive up and down the motorways every week and I have not been stopped by the weather this year and I don’t have a 4×4. The Spanish probably live longer on average as most of the people in these sleepy Andalucian Villages are not working, live on what they can grow and take life easy, maybe that is the way to live life, no material objects, simple houses and cars, no stress and so on. If any of their kids want to get on it is not in these villages as there is no work. The kids do not have a bad life there, on their bikes, more freedom, less cars to run them over in the quieter areas…. One of my boys is on the bus at 7.30 in the UK, back at 4pm, then he has homework to do. I feel a bit sorry for him but he is motivated for some reason so he laps it up. He will more than likely have stressful job in London one day but is that better than plucking chickens so you can live another 3 years longer?

  44. Don’t bother Tony. We know what you’re about. Good to hear from you on here! but unfortunately we know what he’s about too… I’ve read his comments before, trying to suck the life out of anyone on this site… CONSTANTLY! It’s damaging for the comments sections. He gets away with it for some reason.

  45. The Grim Reaper… People live longer here because they’re outside more, WALKING around more. These sleepy Andalucian villages you mentioned.. are these the ones that spend most of the year socialising, having fiestas, talking to each other, promenading every night.

    You need to keep driving mate… and while you’re at it can you pick your mate on here up too!

    Why quote London. That place is horrible & unhealthy…. then people go to school and have homework at night, plucking chickens.. please!

  46. “Comprised of” is always wrong. You wouldn’t say “included of” would you?

    The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is correct.

    The UK is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is not correct.

    The UK includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is correct.

    The UK is included of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is not correct.

  47. Roger, London is where you can make money. My point exactly, walk around the villages, have fiestas, siestas… Live a few years longer but be bored to death along the way but if you know nothing else that is probably fine. I have lived in Spain and have experience of many Countries. I think I would get on well with Fred because I agree with everything he writes. I would happily go for a drink with Fred in the summer. I was once like you but after almost 15 years of it the enthusiasm dwindles. Reap what you sow is what I stared out with as my name on here, but I could not be bothered to type it all out so cut it to Reap. The Spanish are reaping what they have sowed. Be good to people, be fair and positive to them and you will gain much back, but be bad and corrupt and that is why they are in this mess. Do you know why there are very few major Companies in Spain? Come on, a few rose tinted expats won’t solve it. I still take a few weeks holiday there in the Summer so I don’t hate Spain, I am just giving the view of a working age person who has lived there and my kids did go to school there. I have dealt with the local Town Halls, builders…. Other than the Town Hall everyone else was fine, the builders I used were excellent for my pool. I feel sorry for the Spanish people to have leaders like they have. With the climate and location the Country should be flying.

  48. The Grim Reaper. I think you’re like the sort of people we met the other day, complaining, saying THE SPANISH do this THE SPANISH do that. Go and drink with Fred & complain together.

  49. Internet nonsense aside, I think that Spain can be a place of opportunity and also stimulating if you hang around with the right people, do the right things, talk to locals and enjoy the more laid back lifestyle. If you can’t see many positives, go back to the uk or don’t come to live here. It’s not for everyone. But we know no matter how many more years we live here, and having the Med just down the road, Spain is the country for us. Just off outside with a cup of tea, to read for a while, in the hot winter sun.

  50. Mr P epitomises people with a classic misunderstanding of anyone who critiques Spain. He hears some criticism and the only reply is the same old “go back to the UK”. So Spain is a place of opportunity is it? Well go and tell that to the youth of Spain Mr P! That’ll be an interesting response – go and ask your locals what opportunities they have.

    I suppose Mr P wants all the people affected by illegal builds to go back to the UK too? And what about the people whose homes were destroyed in the Malaga fires. Stop complaining silly people and go back to the UK, he says.

    And what makes Mr P think we don’t speak to and mix with the locals? I know all of mine and have some great friends. Been to three Spanish weddings, a funeral and lots of parties and events.

    What Spain needs is far less people like Mr P, who do nothing and accept everything as it is (“Sheeple”, I think the word is). Luckily the people of Spain are complaining in their masses – did he not hear or see the M15 movement? Give me a realist like Reap any day.

  51. Roger, I will leave you with your cup of tea but I need a bit more than that to stimulate my mind and to keep me happy. I have only complained about the Town Halls and officials above so don’t make up stories. Believe me the Officials I have dealt with were very corrupt. No doubt there are many who will put up with everything by brushing all aside and justifying it with sunshine. It is hardly an African climate there in the winter though.I sometimes wish I could see things as simple as you. You are right though, it is not for me. At least people will see a balanced view.

  52. Fred has refused to provide evidence that he lives in Spain. I wonder why that is.

    I´ll offer him another challenge. Can he prove that he and Reap are not one and the same person?

    That was in response to Fred´s question to me (see above).

    Of course, it has nothing to do with the title of this piece: “Spain is healthiest country in EU”. But that´s what I would expect.

  53. Tony, the OP can see what IP addresses people are using and they once highlighted that one person was previoulsy going by different names so I would not try that as I know what they can see. Why do you want to know the ID of everyone, are you in the police? You can see by the things I talk about that I have lived in Spain in years gone by and I still own properties there so that is why I come on here. My opinion is that if you need to work and earn money in Spain don’t bother going, if you have enough of an income and want to sit around drinking tea, beer, go down the beach everyday and you are happy with that then it is a great place for you. Don’t buy a property that needs permission for an extension from the Town Hall as it will stress you out. Make sure you don’t buy a house that is going to be knocked down, that is not good for your health. Don’t be taken in by estate agents and use an independant solicitor not tied to the estate agent, you may just have a chance then. If you go in hospital realise that your relatives have to look after you in there other than A & E. Some of the tap water is nuclear (“http://www.greenguidespain.com/andalucia/2010/07/nuclear-water/”) so buy bottled if unsure. There you go, good advice rather than personal attacks

  54. Fred I did say before ‘Let’s hope for better economic times ahead and that people think harder, protest more about corruption, & try their best to talk constructively rather than pointing out the bad things & giving up. That’s easy to do! Especially when people do that then laugh, when commenting on here.’

    This is what you normally do? Just this!

  55. In answer to my question (MARCH 15TH, 2013 7:25 AM), no proof from Fred so far. As I had expected.

    Nothing from Fred to support the fanciful notion that he even lives in Spain either.

  56. @Tony, you’re fighting a lost cause. I gave you that challenge because it was an impossible one. My point being that you cannot prove you live here any more than I can. Indeed, no one posting on a blog can. Why don’t you get back on topic. You still have not proved that your life expectancy has increased, indeed with all your fristrated arguing with me it is probably declining lol.

  57. Yes, Fred, just like you I just picked my name out of a hat.

    And, of course, the book is a work of fiction, bearing no resemblance to reality.

    On the other hand, you could write to Jon Clarke, the editor of the Olive Press, who knows me and can vouch for my authenticity.

    Why not do that?

  58. So I write to Jon about an anonymous user who posts on the OP blog. Pleeease. Blogs prove nothing about anyone, I take all posts with a pinch of salt, and likewise you should too. For all you know it may be someone impersonating me.

    So where does that leave us? Well, you still have no idea if your life expectancy has increased or decreased. I’m happy to leave it at that but you seem very frustrated and want to continue to engage in impossible tasks.

  59. @Tony, please just prove that your life expectancy has increased. You said “you feel” it has. So it’s just a gut reaction then? That was what the original post was about. Btw, how can Jon prove in a blog post that you are Tony Bishop? I just don’t think you comprehend that your identity is just as valid as mine.

  60. Correct Reap. It matters not where Fred or anyone else lives. The only criteria for posting here, should be to have an interest in Spain and to make creative criticisms based on experiences and personal attitudes, negative or positive, to aspects of Spanish culture and life. Must say though, it seems bonkers to assert that living here will guarantee a longer life. If the bullet has your name on it…..

  61. Jeez, look at these three here now, Fred, Reap, Stefanjo.. like a gang of doomsayers sucking the life out of any commenters on this site. Good luck Tony and stay healthier in Spain!

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