Greeks aren’t drinking as much, but they are still smoking champions; and whilst they seem to be getting depressed they nevertheless remain happier than most, enjoying high life expectancy and the 3rd lowest suicide rate among OECD countries. These seem to be the primary findings for Greece in the 2015 edition of OECD’s Health at a Glance, published November 4.
According to the report, Greece occupies one of the lowest positions when it comes to per capita consumption of alcoholic beverages. Average alcohol consumption has significantly decreased since 2000, and Greece now ranks 32nd among 44 countries classified by OECD.
When it comes to smoking, however, it’s another story. Greece is the country with the most smokers and the World Health Organization has called Greece’s smoking problem an ‘epidemic’. About 39 percent of Greeks smoke cigarettes daily, a figure up 4 percent from 2000, while the average smoking rate across OECD countries fell six percent in the same period.
When it comes to anti-depressants, Greece doesn’t make the top 10, but Greek consumption has risen greatly since 2000. Greece now ranks fourth for the use of anti-hypertensive drugs, behind Turkey, Korea and Austria.
Average life expectancy at birth was 81.4 years for Greeks, the OECD reports. Greeks have the 14th highest life expectancy at birth average. Meanwhile, Greece is third from last in the OECD’s suicide rate ranking; only Turkey and South Africa had smaller suicide rates.
Most alarmingly, Greek kids are the most obese in the world. This trend may be linked to financial hardship, with families switching to cheaper and less nutritious foods for purely economic reasons.