Food, International, Travel

Spain to Beat Japan for World’s Longest Life Expectancy

Olive oil extracted from Spanish Olives like these are an integral part of the mediterranean diet which many attribute to the nation’s long life expectancy. (C)2018 Sabrina Maggiore

Audio Transcript:  Script

By Sabrina Maggiore MADRID, SPAIN (NCC News) – It’s 8:15 on a Wednesday evening and Monica Mares, a mother of two, is putting the finishing touches on her families evening meal.

This is typical for Mares.  A home cooked dinner is always on the table by 9 p.m., and each meal includes freshly chopped tomatoes or a salad.

“Vegetables and fruits are always on the table for dinner and for lunch,” explained Mares.

Mares is a believer in the Mediterranean diet. It’s a way of eating that favors fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil over items such as red meat, processed foods, and butter. The diet is particularly common in the Mediterranean region in countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain which border the Mediterranean Sea.  The diet is something doctors say may be part of the reason why Spaniards are on course to have the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world by 2040.

While many are attributing Spain’s healthy diet to its long-life expectancy, Spanish sociology professor David Caro, is one of many who think there’s more to longevity here than just good eating.

“The lifestyle is very relaxing. If you take a good diet, and in addition add a lifestyle without stress, with a lot of free time, maybe sleeping more, and working only the hours you need, the combination is very good,” said Caro.

According to the institute for health metrics and evaluation, Spain will overtake the current title holder japan and the average life expectancy for Spaniards by 2040 will be almost 86  years.