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Health at a Glance 2017

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2017

This new edition of Health at a Glance presents the most recent comparable data on the health status of populations and health system performance in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for partner countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Russian Federation and South Africa). The data presented in this publication come from official national statistics, unless otherwise stated.

This edition contains a range of new indicators, particularly on risk factors for health. It also places greater emphasis on time trend analysis. Alongside indicator-by-indicator analysis, this edition offers snapshots and dashboard indicators that summarise the comparative performance of countries, and a special chapter on the main factors driving life expectancy gains.

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Healthy lifestyles among adults

Low fruit consumption, low vegetable consumption, and low levels of physical activity are among the ten leading risk factors in terms of years of healthy life lost in 24, 6, and 16 OECD countries respectively (Forouzanfar et al., 2016). Worldwide, diets low in fruit were the cause of nearly 3 million deaths in 2015, while low vegetable consumption caused nearly 2 million deaths, and low physical activity caused 1.6 million deaths. Including fruit and vegetables in the daily diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, as well as certain types of cancer (WHO, 2014). They include dietary fibre which lowers blood pressure and regulates insulin, possibly impacting the risk of type 2 diabetes (InterAct Consortium, 2015). Regular physical activity improves muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, and reduces the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers (WHO, 2017). It has also been shown to positively impact mental health (Lindwall et al., 2012). In adults, the WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of the two (WHO, 2017).

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