Health and Well Being – London

Health and Well Being


It’s better to look good than to feel good.

But better yet to actually be in good health.

Which is where London comes in. It has lots to offer for your health and well being.

Right off the bat, you are going to walk more when you live in London. To-and-from the Underground mostly, but also to-and-from the grocery store, and everywhere else really. To add a degree of difficulty, you might need to carry your groceries home, which adds awesome weightlifting to your cardio workout.

All this walking in London helps keep body weight in check.   Only about 25% of the London population is obese. Still seems like a lot – one in four people. The word “only” is used here in comparison to the US, where 35% of the population is obese.

Both numbers might seem high, but London has the advantage.

As far as staying healthy – i.e. not getting sick from some disease or disorder or communicable bad deal – London wins again in most every category. The World Health Organization (WHO) compiles all kinds of data from all kinds of countries on all kinds of diseases and conditions.  Let’s look at some of their findings:

You are four times more likely to die from an “infectious and parasitic disease” in the US than in the UK. Those will probably be the two biggest words used in this post – “infectious” and “parasitic”. Examples of things in these big word categories are respiratory infections, nutritional deficiencies, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases a.k.a STD’s.

Sorry, the words got bigger again.

It’s actually hard to go through the WHO list – which has over 130 categories – and find an area where London/UK is not the safer pick. Even drowning. You are twice as likely to die from drowning in the US. The UK is basically two big islands, and somehow a lower percentage of people drown. A fact which conflicts with this one:

Alcohol consumption.

The WHO has looked into this one, too, and has proven that adults in the UK drink 11.5 liters of alcohol per person per year. The US person drinks 8.5 per person same category. That’s 3.0 gallons to 2.2 gallons converted to US-speak. Apparently, with the low drowning count, there are no pubs on the beach in the UK.

As a quick aside: You should really check out the WHO data on alcohol consumption. They give each country a scroresheet that looks a lot like a mutual fund report. Charts, graphs, colorful, everything. Bhutan’s population drinks only beer. 39% of the population of China has never had an alcoholic beverage. Armenia: 16% of males don’t drink. You can get lost in the data.

Anyway, some would try to argue that the higher alcohol consumption in the UK is a sign of better health overall. Lower stress. A glass of wine a day, yada yada yada. No argument here. Or, it could be argued in a pub over a pint if you like.

A final category that will seem unlikely to the right-hand-side-of-the-road drivers over most of the globe: road traffic accidents. US persons are three times as likely to die in a traffic accident. Maybe the Underground helps this one out by keeping people off the road. This might also be the reason for the lower drunk driving deaths in the UK. The US has five times as many drunk driving deaths, adjusted for population.

In summary, you’ll be in better shape, on safer roads, catching fewer illnesses in London. And you can celebrate with a few more drinks.


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