The Healthiest States in America

By Geoff McKinnen
Last Updated On March 18th, 2020

The United States has developed a reputation as one of the unhealthiest countries in the world, as our obesity rate is higher than 35% of the overall population. According to…

The Healthiest States in America

The United States has developed a reputation as one of the unhealthiest countries in the world, as our obesity rate is higher than 35% of the overall population. According to this study, the US is ranked 12th for the highest obesity rates, which certainly makes it a major national problem, particularly since obesity leads to so many other health problems. But the national average reflects exactly that–the average obesity rate for the United States as a whole. State-by-state health rates vary.

At Amerisleep, we’re always focused on the health of our customers, so we started researching where people tend to be the least healthy. Using CDC data, we were able to examine several factors that influence overall health and indicate the health level of each state. The results are compiled below!

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states with highest and lowest obese adults graph

Colorado was the only state with fewer than 25% of adults aged 18 and above being classified as obese. In every other state, more than 1 in 4 adults were technically classified as having obesity.

Meanwhile, Mississippi had the highest obesity rate in the country followed closely by West Virginia. In both cases, nearly 40% of adults are considered to be obese. Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana round out the top 5 states with the highest rates of obesity. In every case, more than a third of the state’s occupants are overweight to the point of obesity.

adults meeting activity guidelines graph

A major way that people can combat the health problems associated with being overweight is by exercising regularly. According to the Mayo Clinic, healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. However, according to the CDC, most adults do not meet those guidelines.

In fact, the state with the highest percentage of adults meeting activity guidelines was Colorado, and yet, only 26% of adults living in Colorado exercise an average of 30 minutes per day. In the remaining top 5 states, fewer than 1 in 4 adults meet the recommendation for daily activity each day.

Meanwhile, West Virginia and Oklahoma had the lowest percentage of adults meeting activity guidelines in each state. Only 15% of people in either state were active for an average of 30 minutes each day.

percentages of adults with diabetes graph

Unhealthy weight is a natural consequence of a lifestyle that doesn’t include a healthy diet or exercise. Being overweight can result in a number of health problems, but one of the best known weight-related illnesses is diabetes. West Virginia and Mississippi have the highest obesity rates in the country and it’s no coincidence that they also have the highest percentage of diabetes in the country.

Meanwhile, less than 7% of adults in Montana, Vermont, Minnesota, and Colorado have diabetes. While there is not a direct correlation between obesity and diabetes occurrence, a high BMI certainly heightens the risk for people to suffer from diabetes. It’s natural that the healthier states tend to have lower occurrences of the disease.

Of course, there are more than just these 3 factors playing into the overall health of your state! If you’re wondering how your state stacks up in the weight training, stroke, or heart disease categories, check out the interactive map below!

Made with Flourish

At Amerisleep, we know that every healthy decision you make starts with a good night’s sleep. Having the drive and motivation to practice smart eating and exercise habits depends on you getting a restful slumber. If you’re wondering how you can keep yourself energized and making the best health decisions for yourself every day, our memory foam and hybrid mattresses are a great place to start!

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.


About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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