Vermont named healthiest state for 5th consecutive year

Vermont has been ranked the healthiest state in the nation for the fifth year in a row, according to the 2011 America’s Health Rankings. 

The annual publication ranks the nation's health for the last two decades by evaluating 23 factors including smoking, binge drinking, diabetes, the number of uninsured, high school graduation rate, immunization, prenatal care and obesity. 

Key findings from the report:

  • After Vermont, the top 5 states are New Hampshire, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
  • The bottom 5 states are, at number 50 for the 10th year in a row, Mississippi, preceded by Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama.
  • The overall U.S. obesity rate has increased 137% since 1990, and is currently at 27.5%.
  • The smoking rate in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 1991, and is currently at 17.3%.
  • The rate of diabetes continues to rise nationwide, currently at 8.7%, which is about double the rate that it was in 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

The authors state that the U.S. should focus on prevention as many of our health issues are preventable. 

(Sources: America's Health Rankings, http://www.americashealthrankings.org, December 2011; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, December 8, 2011)