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Why Do Israeli Men Live So Long?

IDF soldiers with flag (photo: Alexi Rosenfeld, IDF Spokesperson Unit)

Men in Israel have one of the highest life expectancies in the world – 81 years – according to the World Health Organization. By comparison, men living in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries have an average life expectancy of 77.7 and the world average is 68.8.

So, why do Israeli men have this advantage? A new study proposes an unexpected theory.

A recent study conducted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel suggests the higher-than-average life expectancy among Israeli males is a consequence of their compulsory 32-month service in the IDF.

Research carried out by Prof. Alex Weinreb indicated that service in the army contributes to Israeli men’s physical fitness, which, in turn, significantly improves their overall health and life expectancy.

Data from more than 130 OECD countries analyzed by Weinreb showed that male populations in countries with a mandatory military service lived on average three years longer than their non-conscripted counterparts.

Read more to learn the connection between military service and life expectancy. And thank you for enabling The Fellowship, through our many social services and medical programs throughout the country, to make sure those years are as healthy and happy as possible. 

Tags: Facts and Findings

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