December 20, 2018

Healthiest States in America

what states are the healthiest?

As it comes to the end of the year, many of you are probably making New Year’s Resolutions. The most common resolutions have to d0 with diet and fitness – if that’s the case, avoid these diet resolutions. You may be looking at yourself and wanting to improve your physique and your health – which is great!

However, did you ever look around and wonder if your environment also has something to do with your weight? How do you measure up against your local peers? Just as they do every year, the United Health Foundation came out with their annual list of the healthiest, and the unhealthiest states in the country. How did your state fare? Find out below.

What State is Healthiest in the US?

When you get to the list below, the rankings indicate that the states that placed above you are considered to be healthier than your state, while those below you are less healthy. These rankings are made up of a number of factors, and just because you place in the top it doesn’t necessarily mean you have high marks all across the board. There are things that the top states perform poorly in, and likewise, there are things that the bottom states do well. The aggregate is what makes up the final ranking.

Ranking Factors

They take a total of 35 different factors when putting together these rankings. These 35 factors are split into a variety of categories:

  • Behaviors that are chosen in your lifestyle
  • Community and environmental factors
  • Public policy at the state level
  • Level of clinical care
  • Hospital quality

These factors for each state are examined by a scientific advisory board, which then assigns a rank to each state within each factor. These 35 rankings are then aggregated to make the overall list rank.

Most Healthy States

This year, the top rankings are as follows:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This is the same five that made the top of the list last year, though they were in a different order.

Most Unhealthy States

These are the 5 worst states for health, with the top state listed below being the 50th ranked overall, then the 49th, and so on.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Is it a coincidence that all of these lie in the South, particularly the Southeast? Does it have anything to do with their diet – lots of fried food? Is the level of health care not as strong in that region? Is there a lack of exercise compared to other regions of the country? I’d be curious to find out why this particular region is so strongly represented at the bottom of the list.

Key Takeaways

The most concerning finding in this study is that obesity has hit an all-time high. It rose more than 5% from the prior year, and now nearly one in three (31.3%) of Americans can be considered obese.

rank of healthiest states

On top of that, and probably related given that obesity can lead to many risk factors for your health, another eye-opener is that the premature death rate rose 3% from the prior year. This is defined as death before the age of 75.

My Thoughts

It is kind of the nature vs. nurture thing. Does having unhealthy people around you make you more likely to be unhealthy yourself? Whatever the environment, it is important for everyone to take care of themselves with smart diet choices and a healthy and active lifestyle.

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T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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