Break out the Ben & Jerry’s! A report by the United Health Foundation has found that Vermont is the healthiest state in the union.
I happen to think it’s because of all the fresh, local produce and clean mountain air—and not our low rate of smokers and high rate of health-insured. Not to mention all the exercise we get shoveling snow off our walks four months out of the year.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — With a decrease in smoking, low prevalence of obesity and few residents who lack health insurance, Vermont has retained its spot as the healthiest state in the country for the second year in a row, according to a national report released Wednesday.
The report by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention found that smoking has dropped by 43 percent since 1990 to 17.6 percent of the population and the state has low rates of obesity at 21.9 percent and children in poverty at 10.9 percent.
“A broad range of health initiatives have made it possible for Vermont to make progress in areas where the rest of the country needs the greatest improvement,” the groups said in a report entitled: “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People and their Communities.”
Although Vermont made progress, the report noted where it needs work: A high rate of binge drinking at 21.9 percent and the percentage of children who get all their vaccinations — 79.8 percent.
The report found that obesity is increasing in Vermont, but at a slower rate than the national average.
After Vermont, Hawaii was the second healthiest state, followed by New Hampshire.