Cuba and Chile are the healthiest countries in Latin America, according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index.
Chile plunged four places from the last year’s survey to be ranked 29 on the index, which gauged 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health.
Ranked 30, Costa Rica is another Latin American country enjoying good health.
All three countries have ranked above the United States, whose ranking was decreased slightly due to deaths from drug overdose and suicides, Bloomberg noted.
Other regional countries that found a place in the top 50 healthiest countries include Uruguay and Panama. Cuba is not really known for healthy foods, but people in the communist country have a better lifestyle. They focus more on preventative care rather than medicines that cure diseases.
The index, according to Bloomberg, grades countries on the basis of factors such as life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity.
Mediterranean countries, including Spain and Italy, topped the list because of their eating habits. Mediterranean meals are flush with healthy contents such as vegetables, olive oil, fish, vegetables, and nuts.
Bloomberg said it also took into account environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation.
Considering the report, countries can perform better on the index if they provide basic infrastructure to their people. African countries fared poorly on the index because of lack of basic civic amenities.