Tel Aviv revealed as one of the healthiest cities in the world

The city places 6th in a new study of where are the healthiest places to live, falling behind Valencia, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna and Canberra.

Senior citizens are seen excercising on the Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: AMIR TERKEL)
Senior citizens are seen excercising on the Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: AMIR TERKEL)
Tel Aviv has become quite the destination for those who are into health and fitness, as a new report conducted by concluded that Tel Aviv is among the top 10 healthiest cities to live in the world.
The report analyzed cities based on a few criteria, including but not limited to: sunlight hours, pollution levels, life expectancy and obesity levels.
According to the report's findings, Tel Aviv has among the lowest obesity ratings worldwide and ranks among the highest for life expectancy - with people living up to 82.8 years of age on average.
The city is known for its many cycling routes, outdoor gyms and parks. Tel Aviv also has a lot of exposure to sunlight, so its citizens can absorb a lot of vitamin D, though going out these days may be a bit tricky amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"In recent years we have focused on a number of broad projects that promote the health of the city's residents," said Eitan Ben-Ami, director of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality's Environment and Sustainability Authority, adding that he is not surprised to see Tel Aviv's high ranking.
Included in the projects is the municipal food program "Be'teavon" which encourages a healthy and sustainable diet, mainly among children and parents of toddlers, the ages when dietary habits are formed.
One of the most significant factors contributing to the city's low obesity rates and high life expectancy is its known vegan scene and Mediterranean diet. 
"We promote a plant-based Mediterranean diet in accordance with the recommendations of the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization, and in accordance with the principles of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP)," Ben-Ami said. 
In addition, Tel Aviv's infrastructure has been updated to allow for cycling, walking and exercising in the open air all over the city, according to Ben-Ami, who added that "as of 2019, about 24% of the city's area is recognized as green space, and the city's sea breezes clean the air."
But these efforts aren't enough, according to Ben-Ami, who said that city officials are preparing for the health effects that come with climate change.