Well it’s no wonder Minnesota made the top five healthiest states in a recent study: what germ could survive a winter up here in the rugged land of the Vikings?
It’s also true that Minnesota is a very progressive and humanitarian state. And it’s a known fact that when all people are given equal opportunity - meaning no discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, race, religion, or ethnic background - the body politic thrives and prospers.
Whether or not climate and/or a humanitarian ethos have anything to do with it, northern states do apparently beat out the south when it comes to health. Forbes reports that Vermont is listed as the healthiest state for the second consecutive year along with New Hampshire, Utah, and Minnesota. Hawaii is the southern exception among the top five.
The five unhealthiest states include Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
The study cited by Forbes focuses on four key areas: personal behaviors, community and environment, public and health policy, and clinical care. It is meant to highlight the successes and failures of each state and the nation so Americans can live longer, healthier lives.
The Forbes article continues:
“But poor health isn't limited to the country's southernmost states. America's health overall failed to improve for the fourth year in a row. Four years of stagnation stands in contrast to the 1990s when Americans' health climbed at an average rate of 1.5%. Obesity is one culprit. It has skyrocketed 127% since the 1990s, from 11.6% of the population to 26.3%, according to the study. Obesity increases the risk for diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
“Worrisome still, is the growing number of uninsured Americans. Today, 45.7 million Americans are uninsured, an increase of 16% over 1990 levels.”