Published December 09, 2015
Americans are making meaningful progress on key health metrics including smoking less and leading less sedentary lifestyles, but rising rates of drug deaths, obesity, diabetes and children in poverty signal serious challenges, according to United Health Foundation’s 26th America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their Communities.
United Health Foundation produces the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report to provide actionable, data-driven insights that stakeholders can use to effect change in a state or nationally.
Success, realized: less smoking and sedentary lifestyles
This year’s America’s Health Rankings Annual Report reveals promising signs of progress:
“This year’s America’s Health Rankings Annual Report reveals many encouraging gains in our nation’s health while showing clearly there is much more we as a country must do to maximize our health potential,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. “This report is a call to action to make disease prevention a key component of our culture. We want to ensure everybody – no matter what state they call home – is empowered to make healthy decisions for themselves, their families and their communities."
Amid successes, serious challenges remain: drug deaths, obesity, diabetes
Despite encouraging gains, this year’s report presents a sobering reminder that there is still more work to be done.
“Too many Americans today are developing chronic illnesses due to their lifestyle choices. The nation can and must work together to fight obesity, diabetes and other serious chronic conditions, and to amplify support for the nation’s most vulnerable populations through innovative community-based programs and solutions,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to United Health Foundation and chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions.
State rankings in 2015: Hawaii ranks No. 1; Louisiana least healthy
Top Five: In 2015, Hawaii again takes the title of healthiest state for the 4th time, followed by Vermont (2) and Massachusetts (3). Minnesota and New Hampshire moved back into the top five this year, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively.
Bottom Five: Louisiana ranked 50th this year, moving Mississippi to 49th. Arkansas (48), West Virginia (47) and Alabama (46) complete the list of the five least healthy states.
To see the national and state rankings in detail, visit www.americashealthrankings.org.
United Health Foundation to publish new reports in 2016 to provide additional insights to stakeholders
In 2016, United Health Foundation will introduce a new suite of reports and year-round information on key health behaviors, conditions and populations to amplify stakeholders’ efforts as they work to effect change across states and communities. This will include:
About America’s Health Rankings Annual Report
America’s Health Rankings Annual Report is the longest-running report of its kind. It is published by United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association. For 26 years, the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report has provided an analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings. The America’s Health Rankings Annual Report employs a unique methodology, developed and annually reviewed and overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee of leading public health scholars. For more information, visit www.americashealthrankings.org.
The data in the report come from well-recognized outside sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, FBI, Dartmouth Atlas Project, U.S. Department of Education and Census Bureau.
About United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org