Life expectancy rates are the highest they have ever been in the United States. But living longer doesn’t necessarily mean we’re living healthier or fitter. In fact, since 1990, obesity rates in America rose from 11.1% to 29.3%. Fact is, The majority of America is not exercising enough. Less than 5% of adults partake in half an hour of activity a day.
Obesity is a cause for concern because it is directly related to several chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many external factors can contribute to obesity rates, such as socioeconomic status, limited access to physical activity opportunities, and lack of government involvement. As an individual, the best way you can beat these odds is by making a conscious effort to be healthy and physically active. If you are looking for a place to fit in, or rather, a place to be fit in, look no further. Here is our summation of the top 10 healthiest states in America.
Hawaii 22.7% Obesity
Cowabunga dude! This tropical state is the home of beautiful beaches and recreational surfing. The miniscule risk of obesity here is directly related to small number of individuals suffering with chronic disease. Cases of diabetes are very low here, at 8.5%. Smoking and cancer rates are also relatively low, making this state one of the best in terms of quality of health. The general unemployment rate is also relatively low, at 3.3% percent. And the free access to tropical recreational activities allows everyone the same opportunity to remain active and fit.
Colorado 20.2% Obesity
Whether you’re a hiker, skier, or biker, you can find countless places to enjoy recreational fun in this mountainous green land. Colorado has the lowest adult obesity rate in America, according to State of Obesity. On average, most adults in Colorado take about 6804 steps per day, while the average American takes only 5117 steps a day. Colorado also has an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention (ECOP) program, which provides many resources that successfully target maternal and child health.
New York 25% Obesity
This fast-moving metropolitan city has eighth lowest obesity rate in the U.S. Even with a Dunkin’ Donuts on every street corner, New Yorkers are considerably fit. Approximately 64% of its residents live in urban, traffic-jammed regions, making it no surprise that there’s a plentiful amount of walking involved in being a new-yorker. Child obesity rates are also on a steady decline in the Big Apple, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California 24.2% Obesity
Like Colorado, California is not shy of its scenic, and activity-friendly landscape. Group exercise classes are particularly popular in California. Yoga, Spin classes and CrossFit are on the rise in this sunny state, which gives staying in shape a communal and social twist. Child obesity is also on the decline in California. In low-income families, child obesity fell from 17.3% to 16.8%, which is significant decrease according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Connecticut 25% Obesity
This historical state is home to the first hamburger, lollipop, and many other culinary inventions. Despite this, Connecticut currently has the 10th lowest obesity rate in the nation, and a relatively low diabetes rate (9.3%) to go with it. Just maybe, these residents are as creative with their workouts as they are with their food choices
Vermont 25.1% Obesity
Producing maple syrup isn’t the only thing Vermont excels in. Vermont has the 9th lowest obesity rate in the nation. But that’s not all. Vermont also has the highest high school graduation rate, superlative public health funding, and a relatively low percentage of children in poverty. This healthy and supportive environment gives these residents an upper hand at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Massachusetts 24.3% Obesity
Massachusetts is a continuously progressive state, in terms of health and fitness. With biking and walking as the preferred method of transportation, there’s no surprise that Massachusetts has the sixth lowest obesity rate in the country. Within the past two years, the rate of physical activity has increased by 11%, and drug deaths have decreased by 9%. These statistics are signs of significant improvement for this pedestrian-friendly state.
District of Columbia 26.4% Obesity
Washington D.C. now has the second lowest obesity rate in the nation. This refined city has a variety of different parks, trails, and fitness facilities, giving everyone easy access to a fit and active lifestyle. In fact, an astonishing 95% of residents live within a 10 minute walk to the park. Exercise is a great opportunity for tightly bound politicians and workaholics to let loose and destress, making exercise a key component to many daily routines. The residents also have access to countless farmers’ markets (28.7 per 1,000,000 people to be exact).
Utah 24.5% Obesity
Home of the popular Salt Lake city, Utah has the seventh lowest obesity rate in the nation. Utah also has the second lowest diabetes rate in the country, and an unusually high prevalence of physicians per capita. The scenic mountains and canyons must also serve as a de-stressor because fewer people smoke here than anywhere else in the country. And to top it all off, according to the United Health Foundation, a mere 9.2% of children in Utah live in poverty, which is significantly smaller than the nation’s average of 21%. With all of these factors taken into consideration, it’s no surprise that Utah’s reputation as a healthy state remains persistence and intact.
Montana 23.6% Obesity
Coming in with the fourth lowest level of obesity, this historic state is another colossal sandbox for outdoor activities. Montana is home of numerous historic sites, trails, and national parks, giving its residents an opportunity to explore sights while also being active. The risk of diabetes is also low here. Only 1 in 14 residents have diabetes, compared to the 1 in 10 nationally. Montana also has scarce levels in pollution, giving its residents a rare and favorable bonus.