Report gives U.S. low marks on health and wellness

According to the World Economic Forum’s first Human Capital Report, the U.S. ranked 43rd among 112 countries in the Health and Wellness category, which measured a country’s ability to develop and deploy a healthy workforce. It received particularly low scores in obesity, the impact on business of non-communicable diseases, and stress. The report was co-authored by David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at Harvard School of Public Health.

The report evaluated countries based on three other categories: Education,Workforce and Employment, and Enabling Environment (infrastructure, legal framework, and social mobility). Overall, the United States placed 16th, with Switzerland receiving the highest overall marks.

The report was issued October 1, 2013.

The report drew from publicly available data produced by international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Labour Organization, in addition to survey data from the World Economic Forum and Gallup.

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