The World Economic Forum knows what is wrong with us Americans.
We are fat. We are stressed. We are on the verge of a coronary.
So says the forum’s new Human Capital Index, which rates the United States 16th globally in how well it harnesses the power of its people. The nation gets good scores for education and opportunity. But the disappointing overall outcome is because of things such as “non-communicable diseases.”
Before you holler “gross” and turn elsewhere, these are noncontagious ailments such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The United States ranks 112th out of 122, for example, on the obesity scale, and similarly low when it comes to stress. The “health and wellness” score places the United States 43rd among the countries studied, with a particularly poor rating for the “business impact” of disease overall (including the communicable type, for which we rank 65th … gross!).
The index is the newest study from the forum. In the proud tradition of think-tank indices, the best performers are generally small, homogenous European nations — and Singapore — while large and diverse developed nations generally come next, with an occasional outlier such as Qatar that has a lot of money and a reasonably progressive royal family. The rest of the world falls toward the bottom in random array. Yemen is last.