The unhealthy states of America

Louisiana took the much “not-coveted” award as the unhealthiest U.S. state while Vermont was dubbed the healthiest for the second straight year.

The annual report that is in its nineteenth year by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention advocacy group, assessed a series of measures including binge drinking, health insurance coverage, air pollution, infectious disease rates, crime levels and immunization coverage.

Rounding out the bottom 10 were South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada and Georgia. Many of Southern states clustered near the bottom of the rankings have some of the highest rates of obesity, which contributes to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer, as well as high rates of smoking, which causes cancer, lung disease, heart disease and other problems.

Vermont topped the rankings, followed by Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Idaho and Maine.

California, the most populous state, ranked 24th and New York 25th.

Sadly, in comparison to much of the industrialized world, the United States continues trail nations in infant mortality, life expectancy, mortality for treatable conditions and overall health care system performance.

President-elect Barack Obama has promised to overhaul of the present health care system that leaves 45.7 million people without coverage while costing more than any other national health system. His plan includes establishing a universal healthcare system and instituting mandatory coverage for children.

Do you want to take action to help your community members live longer, healthier lives? Head to our Health and Fitness cause for info and action ideas.