Do You Live in The Healthiest State in America?

Beating the annual list of fattest cities in the nation from Men's Fitness by a few weeks is the 17th annual report of America's Health Rankings issued by the United Health Foundation, among other things, calculating the healthiest and sickest states.

Located south of the Mason-Dixon line, the unhealthiest states -- Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina -- may not surprise you very much as obesity and poverty often travel together, but the three healthiest might. All three -- Minnesota, Vermont and New Hampshire -- certainly dispel any excuses you might raise about blaming colder climates for your poor health.

You may feel a little better knowing America's overall health has improved some 19 percent since the foundation began issuing yearly reports in 1990, but don't be fooled. During that same time, obesity rates have more than doubled and the life expectancy of the average baby girl in America is seven years less than her counterpart in Japan.

You won't find a pill or a surgical procedure that will improve your health for the long term without some serious risks involved either. Fact is, both diet and exercise work better together than either do on their own.

United Health Foundation December 5, 2006 Free Full Text Reports

USA Today December 5, 2006