In the current global economy, chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become the leading cause of death and a major health concern for both developed and developing countries. Among other factors, the worldwide spread of NCDs is driven by the globalisation of unhealthy habits. The purpose of this paper is to develop a simple statistic to measure, at the national level, the average population’s exposure to the main NCDs modifiable risk factors. The approach and methodology followed by the United Nations Development Programme to compute the Human Development Index (HDI) is applied to four basic indicators of NCD-related preventable risk factors (alcohol consumption, excess caloric intake, non-balanced diet and tobacco use) in 112 countries worldwide in 2012–14. We obtain a summary composite index, which we call the Unhealthy Behaviour Index (UBI), which ranks countries by the average level of the unhealthy habits (drinking, eating and smoking) of their populations.
Ferretti, Fabrizio. "UBI: The Unhealthy Behaviour Index" Working paper, Dipartimento di Comunicazione ed Economia - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 2015.