United Health Foundation has released it's findings for year 2008. It looks like we Americans managed not to change much in our health for the fourth consecutive year. The data gathered and analyzed by UHF ranges from smoking, drinking, health insurance to air pollution and crime rates.
The results (UHF Key Findings) shows that Vermont leads the nation as the healthiest state for the second year in a row. It is followed by Hawaii (2), New Hampshire (3), Minnesota (4), and Utah (5). Louisiana is ranked as the least-healthy state, while Mississippi (49), South Carolina (48), Tennessee (47) and Texas (46) remain in the bottom five. Each of these states continues to struggle with difficult socioeconomic challenges that manifest themselves in these rankings.
Utah (5) currently leads the nation as the state with the lowest prevalence of smoking. Other states making progress against the nation’s biggest health challenges include Massachusetts (6), which leads the nation as the state with the lowest uninsured rate, and Colorado (19), which ranks as the state with the lowest national prevalence of obesity. A comparison of state rankings from 2007 to 2008 indicates that 36 states had positive changes in their overall health scores and 14 experienced declines.