Iceland loves breaking world records, but not all are good

New international surveys are painting an unfamiliar picture of Iceland: the happiest nation in the world…but with some pretty big flaws all the same.

The old self image of Iceland goes something like this: the strongest men in the world, the most beautiful women in the world and the least corruption in the world. But most would agree that the image has changed somewhat in recent years.

For example, a new survey of OECD nations this week revealed that 60 percent of Icelanders are overweight, including 20 percent who are obese. That puts Iceland in seventh place among the world’s 33 fattest nations. The other Nordic countries are all much slimmer, the survey revealed.

Continuing the comparison of Iceland and Scandinavia, it seems Icelandic children and teens have twice as many rotten teeth as their Swedish counterparts and worse teeth than all the Scandinavian countries. The average child in Iceland consumes a whole kilo of sugar every single week.

The Finns, Danes, Swedes and Norwegians lag behind Icelanders in other important areas as well. For example, the occurrence of chlamydia is higher in Iceland than elsewhere in the Nordics.

Then we come to the areas where Iceland beats the entire world.

Food prices in Iceland are the highest in the world and the occurrence of melanoma in Icelandic women knows no equal.

Icelanders also hold the record for consuming the most anti-depressants of any nation — a fact which raises questions as to whether or not there is a link between that and the fact that Iceland is also the most optimistic/positive nation in the world, according to the OECD.

Despite the above health issues, the statistics reveal that Icelanders can expect to live a good two years longer than people in other OECD countries, reported in an article under the headline, “We are fat, on anti-depressants, have chlamydia and broken teeth”.

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