According to the latest, and frankly most, state health rankings, the healthiest states are mostly found in the western and northeastern parts of the country while the least healthy are in the South. America’s Health Rankings have released their list for 2021, with Hawaii taking the top health spot.
The top three is rounded out by Vermont and Minnesota. At the bottom of the overall list are Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. To determine the overall health of each state, America’s Health Rankings combined information about individual health choices, environment, public policy and clinical care. States were also ranked on percentage of adult population who smoke, are obese, are physically inactive, and have diabetes.
- 19.6 percent of adults in America smoke
- Smoking decreased significantly in 17 states from 2021 to 2021
- Utah, California and Hawaii have the lowest smoking rates
- Arkansas, West Virginia and Kentucky have the highest smoking rates
- Defined as BMI of 30.0 or higher
- More than 1 in 4 adults are obese, 27.6 percent of adults
- Colorado, Massachusetts and Hawaii are the least obese states
- Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are the most obese states
- Obesity rates are slightly down from last year
- Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week.
- 22.9 percent of adults are physically inactive
- Oregon, Utah and Colorado have the fewest instances of physical inactivity
- Mississippi, West Virginia and Arkansas have the most instances of physical inactivity
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases
- 9.7 percent of adults in America have diabetes
- Alaska, Utah and Montana have the fewest adults with diabetes
- Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia have the most adults with diabetes
Where does your state rank? What should be done to improve? Let us know at @DietsInReview.
No matter how many of this kind of rankings come out per year, it seems that the mostly the same states are on the top and bottom. Colorado will always rank well for physical activity and low obesity rates, and Mississippi will be the bottom in just about everything. It’s likely that regional lifestyles play a major role in the overall health of a state’s residents. Though Southern foods and traditions may be part of the culture and an obvious culprit, low income, education, and access to health care are even more at fault.
Images from americashealthrankings.org