World Happiness Report Released – “Denmark Ranks as Happiest Country; Burundi, Not So Much” – The New York Times, 3.17.16
The fourth World Happiness Report was released last week, and Denmark has reclaimed its place as the world’s happiest country, while Burundi ranks last. This year’s report finds that “inequality is strongly associated with unhappiness — a stark finding for rich countries like the United States, where rising disparities in income, wealth, health and well-being have fueled political discontent.” The world happiness leaders: Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. All are nations with strong safety nets and more homogenous populations.

“Study Shows Age Has Significant Impact on Wellness Travel Preferences” – Hospitality Trends, 3.16.16
A new survey of North American and European travel agents (by Spafinder Wellness 365) is the first to reveal the impact that age has on wellness traveler preferences. Agents ranked how important 16 different wellness elements at properties (whether healthy food to fitness classes) were for clients, and every single component rated as “important” for every age group. Wellness - and a lot of it - matters to today's traveler. However, every one of the 16 wellness elements mattered even more to younger travelers (millennials and Gen X) than for Baby Boomers and older. Several components stand out as significantly more important for younger travelers: 1) outdoor adventure programs, 2) environmentally-friendly properties, and 3) properties that “do good” for local communities or have volunteerism programs. The survey shines light on what matters most to the "next generation" in wellness travel.

“The UAE Created a Minister of Happiness, but What Does that Even Mean?” - The Washington Post, 2.10.16
As more governments around the world begin measuring happiness with an aim to use it to devise policy, the question that springs to mind is: Can a government regulate happiness?

“Getting Primary Care at the Psychiatrist’s Office” - The Atlantic, 3.5.16
In an increasing number of U.S. states, medical services are moving into mental health clinics. Providers are finally beginning to close the gap between physical and mental care, forming partnerships aimed at improving patients’ physical and mental health and reducing costs at the same time.

“More Than Half of What Americans Eat Is 'Ultra-Processed' - The Atlantic, 3.10.16
In the U.S., 57.9 percent of people’s calorie intake, on average, came from ultra-processed foods, which account for 90 percent of added sugar intake. The result? Ultra-processed sugar bombs are replacing “more nutrient-dense foods,” and leaving people “simultaneously overfed and undernourished.”


A Striking Stat

The average American child spends more time consuming digital media than going to school. A British study showed that while six in 10 parents worried that their children spend too much time in front of screens, seven in 10 children worry that their parents are the ones who are over-wired and tuned out.

Sources: Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Tweens; New Forest National Park Authority survey

AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI