The Shmooze

Study: Being Jewish Is Good For Your Health

By Nathan Burstein

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Being Jewish is good for your health.

So says the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a newly released survey that asked more than half a million Americans about their physical and emotional health, workplace satisfaction and health-related behavior. Jews scored the highest of any religious group, achieving an overall score of 69.8, placing them above the atheists and agnostics, Catholics, Mormons, and other religious communities. Protestants scored the lowest, with a 64.8.

The link between religious observance and good health is not entirely clear, however, since a majority of the survey’s Jewish respondents — 55% — classified themselves as “nonreligious.” (Sixteen percent categorized themselves as “very religious.”)

Among nonbelievers and unaffiliated survey respondents, 2.5 percent described themselves as “very religious” — and scored higher than both Jews, with a 70.2.

On the spectrum of religious observance, Mormons are the most faithful Americans, with 75 percent describing themselves as “very religious.” Among Americans as a whole, 44 percent describe themselves as very religious, 27 as percent moderately religious and 30 percent as nonreligious.


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