The Least Healthiest States in the U.S. Were Not Surprising

A new report organized by NiceRX shows a stark contrast between health outcomes in each state. The data took into account many factors including cigarette use, regular exercise, vegetable eating, and life expectancy.

The South Needs Help

Ranking dead last and receiving the title of “unhealthiest state in America” is Louisiana with a health score of 1.32 out of 10. Next is Mississippi (1.46) and then Alabama (2.08). Each of these three states have over 38% of self-reported obesity, over 20% adult cigarette usage, and less than 20% rated their health as “excellent” when surveyed.

As of 2020, CDC data reports 35% or more of adults are obese in 16 states including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia. A link can also be made showing the poorer someone is the more likely they will have negative health outcomes. These southern states all have lower incomes compared to coastal states.

Mississippi has the highest percentage of self-reported obese individuals at over 39%.

The bottom ten states are all southern or midwestern states. All with a score under 3 out of 10.

Related: Wellness Habits for Kids You Don't Want to Miss

Washington Leads the Pack

Conversely, Washington is ranked as the healthiest state in the whole country with a score of 8.40 and with nearly 60% of adults regularly exercising. Closely following is Massachusetts in 2nd place (8.36) and a tie for 3rd place with Vermont and Utah (7.94).

Colorado comes in as the least obese adult population at 24.2%. The next are Massachusetts and Hawaii. California is home to the fewest smoking adults.

California's life expectancy is the highest in the Union, at 80.9 years on average.


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