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Healthiest State Rankings 2016: Hawaii Tops List for 5th Year in a Row

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By    |   Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 01:37 PM

Hawaii tops the healthiest state rankings for the fifth straight year, according to the 2016 America's Health Rankings report sponsored by the United Health Foundation.

According to the report, Hawaii had the lowest percentage of uninsured people, with low rates of obesity and a low prevalence of obesity.

The annual report ranks states based on 34 measures connected with healthy behaviors, community and environmental, policy, clinical care, and outcomes, according to USA Today.

"[Hawaii] has held the top spot eight times in the 27-year history of the annual report," according to the report's executive summary. "Massachusetts (second), Connecticut (third), Minnesota (fourth), and Vermont (fifth) round out the top five states for overall health."

"Mississippi ranks as the state with the greatest opportunity for improvement, dropping from 49th to 50th this year. Louisiana improved to 49th, while Arkansas (48th), Alabama (47th), and Oklahoma (46th) round out the states with greatest opportunities for improvement," the report continued.

Reed Tuckson, an external clinical advisor for United Health Foundation, told USA Today, though, that the report did reveal some troubling trends overall.

Smoking among U.S. adults decreased by 41 percent since 1990 when the report started, while the number of uninsured people decreased by 35 percent over the past five years, USA Today noted.

Despite that, cardiovascular deaths increased over the past year while the rate of premature death has also increased of the past two years, Tuckson told the newspaper. According to the report's executive summary, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults since 1990 has increased 157 percent.

"We are still living longer, but sicker, and getting sicker sooner," Reed told USA Today. "People are experiencing obesity and related consequences earlier in life which is also a problem."

Foundation officials said in the executive summary that they hope the report can be used to target areas where Americans can improve their health outcomes.

"With this report, United Health Foundation contributes 27 years worth of data to ongoing conversations among policymakers, public health officials, and community leaders about how they can collaborate to promote and achieve better health for all," the executive summary stated.

"Our nation has experienced impressive public health achievements since the launch of the first America's Health Rankings Annual Report in 1990, but this year's findings highlight that the country still faces critical challenges that may undermine progress in other key areas of health," the report continued.

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Hawaii tops the healthiest state rankings for the fifth straight year, according to the 2016 America's Health Rankings report sponsored by the United Health Foundation.
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2016-37-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 01:37 PM
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