They may be out of work and struggling with financial disaster, but the Spanish have the highest healthy life expectancy in Europe – and beat Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA as well.
So, what is Spain's secret of long life? Is is their smoking rate?
Spain has achieved progress in reducing tobacco consumption, with current rates of daily smokers among adults standing at 26.4% in 2006, down from 41% in 1985. However, smoking rates in Spain still remain higher than the OECD average of 23.3%
How about "hazardous drinking"?
According to a survey by the European Commission (EC), Spain is among the worst European countries for the abuse of alcohol, only Ireland, Romania, Germany and Austria have a worse record.
Then it must be their low rate of obesity, right?
Adult obesity rates in Spain are higher than the OECD average, and child rates are amongst the highest in the OECD. Two out of 3 men are overweight and 1 in 6 people are obese in Spain.
This all adds up to a bit of a mystery if, like the BBC, you have swallowed the public health fantasy that under-regulation of the food, drink and tobacco industries is the true cause of ill health. Perhaps the Guardian hits the nail on the head with this observation...
Spain has an excellent healthcare system, ranked seventh in 2000 on the only occasion the World Health Organisation has compiled a league table. The UK was 18th.
I suppose we could try to improve the NHS (the envy of the world if you exclude 17 countries who do it better), but that would involve the doctors having to do the job they're being paid for instead of issuing press releases and drawing up lists of demands. And that would be asking far too much, wouldn't it now?
As usual, the Daily Mash has a sound take on this latest excuse for the government to stomp on your face...
Statistics show the UK is falling behind other European countries at not ignoring doctors or creepy government health campaigns.
Now the government has pledged to reverse the trend by giving more money to doctors and commissioning a series of creepy health campaigns.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We’re also going to need lots of new laws about food and alcohol and tobacco that will be devised by people with a form of OCD that can only be described as ‘raging’.
“It is going to be unbelievably annoying. Don’t you just hate it here? Still, what are you going to do about it? A big fat nothing, that’s what.”