Nordic Health Trends: Norway Good, Denmark Bad
Danes are the heaviest smokers and alcohol users in the Nordics — and it shows in their life expectancy, according to the new report “Intoxicants in Norway 2016“. The study was conducted by the Norwegian Public Health Institute to survey Nordic health habits with a focus on alcohol and smoking. The study was conducted by reasearchers from all the Nordic countries.
Denmark with worse health trends
Denmark stands out from the study as the Nordics’ least healthy nation in this regard. One in five Danish adults (21%) are regular smokers, and the average Dane consumes alcohol 2.5 times per week.
The other Nordic countries’ smoking rates are between 9% and 18%, and they consume less alcohol at 1.2 to 1.6 times per week.
Negative impact on life expectancy
The alcohol use and smoking rates are among the most important reasons for a reduction in life expectancy, according to a senior researcher from the Danish food safety authorities.
Nordic life expectancy data shows that Danish women have the shortest life expectancy (82.5) in the Nordics, and in Western Europe as a whole (WHO, 2015). Danish men have the second shortest lives (78.6) among Nordic men, after Finns (78.3).
In comparison, health trends in Norway are positive. Alcohol consumption and smoking is decreasing; the use of snus among youth is flattening out, according to Astrid Skretting from Norwegian Institute of Public Health, one of the authors of the report.
Norway’s alcohol consumption has dropped significantly in the past year, to 6 litres per person, the lowest in the Nordics and 33% less than Denmark’s 9 litres.