This is purely my opinion based on my experiences & observations. I have not looked at any statistical data or anything of the sort, so take this with a grain of salt. I grew up in the United States. I have traveled to Europe several times throughout my life. It was not until I matured & became more aware of my health, fitness & wellness that I began to notice the discrepancies between the two nations. I am currently in Portugal, for the third time in my life, & I have previously been to Italy, England, Greece, Turkey, Spain, France, & Germany. Here are three reasons why I believe Europeans are healthier.
They move more. Unfortunately, in the States, public transportation is not the best. I live in the Bay Area, & if you do not have a car, it’s very difficult to get around. Everybody drives. However, in Europe, everybody walks! Of course, they drive a lot too, but the public transportation systems are much more prevalent. This encourages more walking. Besides the public transportation, it may be a cultural aspect as well. People simply walk more. When traveling to Europe, I always expect to walk more. When traveling across the states, there’s typically a rent-a-car involved.
They eat better. The food is simply better. The animals here are not treated the way they are in the States. Adventuring through Portugal, for example, you will find lean & muscular cows. In the States, the cows are much fatter. The bacon is much less fatty here in Europe as well; it is very tough, hinting at more muscular pigs. Even when eating at McDonalds here in Portugal, I found the meat to be of a much higher quality. These are just some examples, but literally every meal I have had leaves me feeling full but never bloated and/or uncomfortable.
They have a stronger sense of community. People here are much more social & lively; I believe this to be the case because most people share the same culture. In the States, we are experiencing a relatively new melting pot of cultures from around the world; which is absolutely beautiful. But, tribalism is embedded in our DNA, so it will take time for the States to experience the unity that a country like Portugal, for example, feels.
Nothing against the States, I love my country. However, with such disregard for health & a fixation on mass production & consumption, it happens to be one of the most unhealthy places to live. Once you travel & experience life elsewhere, you cannot help but notice the difference in the quality of food & life in general. The culture of great food, movement & a sense of belonging is pervasive here in Portugal. It truly is a beautiful life. We are the generation that must work incessantly to drive the States in the right direction, toward health & unity.