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Overall, Utahns are a pretty healthy people.
The latest annual report by a national organization ranks Utah 6th on its list of healthiest states. Mainly, that's because Utah has a low infant mortality rate, a low rate of cancer deaths, a low violent crime rate and a high rate of high school graduation. Furthermore, Utahns smoke and drink much less than people in other states. According to experts, all of this contributes to good health.
That's the good news side of the report released last week by the United Health Foundation. Here's negative side:
Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity in Utah increased from 9.3 percent to 21.9 percent of the population. Also since 1990, the rate of uninsured population increased by 46 percent.
United Health Foundation says it releases these ranking each year "to stimulate action . . . to improve the health of the population of the United States."
KSL appreciates the insights provided by the organization's report.
Clearly, continued attention needs to be directed toward combating the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our communities. At the same time, efforts to overhaul the state's healthcare system, including broader availability of health insurance, warrant widespread support.
Overall, we may be a healthy people, but there's clearly considerable room for improvement.