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Utah Fifth Healthiest State

Posted - Nov. 8, 2004 at 5:58 p.m.



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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingAmericans are getting healthier, but they're getting fatter too. That's just one of the findings in a new report by the United Health Foundation, a non-profit group that studies how Americans live and what threatens their health.

Utah is in the top five healthiest states, and the good news is every state improved. The report studies everything from cancer to car accidents, but it says obesity is one of the greatest threats to American health.

The new report says growing waistlines are hurting the bottom line of American health. The United Health Foundation has been tracking American health since 1990. Overall Americans have gotten healthier, but the trend slowed over the last five years because of factors like obesity, smoking, poverty and a lack of health insurance.

US Surgeon General Richard Carmona is encouraging Americans to safeguard their futures by compiling family medical histories using a free computer program provided by the government.

Richard Carmona, U.S. Surgeon General: “You can give this information to your health care professional who can use it to help make decisions about screenings and other prevention efforts for specific conditions that run in your family. The bottom line is knowing family history can safe your life.”

The United Health report says personal behavior like diet and exercise can save lives too.

The healthiest states are Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Hawaii, and Utah. The "bottom five" least healthy states are Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

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