A new ranking of the healthiest states in the US show that the Tri-State has a long way to go in 2013.
While Americans may be living longer, they are struggling to change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and obesity and residents of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana are no exception, according to the study released Tuesday from the United Health Foundation . The 2012 results show that Ohio ranked 35th, Indiana came in at No. 41 and Kentucky was No. 44.
In Ohio, which ranked 36 in 2011, an estimated 29.7 percent of the population is obese. While there are many Ohioans who get the proper immunizations, there is a high prevalence of smoking, high levels of air pollution and a high rate of preventable hospitalizations.
In 2012, Indiana got its highest rate of obesity with about 30.8 percent of the population estimated to have a body mass index of 30 or more. The Hoosier State boasts a low prevalence of binge drinking and a low rate of uninsured people, but that couldn't combat its more than 1.25 million smoking adults, low per capita public health funding and high levels of air pollution.
Kentucky has the highest smoking rate in the US at 29 percent of the adult population — or about 970,000 adults — which didn't help its ranking. Also, about 30.4 percent of the population is obese. While there is a low prevalence of binge drinking and a low violent crime rate, the high rate of cancer deaths and smoking numbers attribute to its second year at No. 44 overall.
Nationally, Vermont ranked No. 1 and Mississippi and Louisiana tied for 49th place. The study has tracked health rankings in the United States for the past 22 years.
For more information about health in Ohio, go to http://www.americashealthrankings.org/OH/2012 . For Indiana, go to http://www.americashealthrankings.org/IN/2012 and for Kentucky go to http://www.americashealthrankings.org/KY/2012 .