Sixty Percent of Icelanders Are Very Happy

mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

Icelanders remain a happy nation, who continues to hold the Nordic record in the consumption of soft drinks. This is revealed in a public health report, based on 2019 figures, published this week by the director to health.

According to the findings, more than 60 percent of Icelanders consider themselves very happy, Morgunblaðið reports. The ratio of those who frequently experience loneliness has increased in some districts and gone down in others. Almost 15 percent of the residents of East Iceland report experiencing loneliness frequently, which is 5 percentage points above the national average.

Árni Sæberg

Icelanders have long held the Nordic record in soft drink consumption, and last year, that consumption increased considerably. About 20 percent of adults and children in grades 5-7 consume soft drinks daily. Dóra Guðmundsdóttir, project manager at the office of the director of health, states this is a reason for concern and suggests using economic incentives to battle unhealthy food habits.

The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of decreasing the consumption of soft drinks in order to fight obesity and lifestyle-related diseases. Dóra noted that this could be done by imposing taxes on soft drinks. In Iceland, the price of soft drinks went down when value-added tax on food was decreased, she stated.

Dóra noted that many students are unhappy in school. About 14 percent of students in grades 5-7 would like to quit school, and nearly 30 percent of boys in grades 5-7 report having been the victims of violence at school.

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