The world looks at America as unhealthy, wasteful, and corrupt. Prideful in nature, American culture stands out as arrogant and extremist. While unhealthy ideas such as fast food, and processed microwaveable meals originated from the United States some ground is being gained in the realm of health consciousness and overall awareness.
However, Americans are actually making some headway in becoming more healthy.
The United States has seen a spike in the organic food market which is grown on average, growing 11% a year. This makes organics an almost $40 billion industry. Plant based diets have seen a huge surge in popularity, with 16 million U.S. citizens standing behind vegetarian and vegan diets (who constitute for about 2% of the total population).
Related: Tips for buying organic food.
Although America may not be the ideal example of health consciousness, we can definitely learn a thing or two from the healthiest states.
1. Hawaii 2. Vermont 3. Minnesota 4. Massachusetts 5. New Hampshire 6. Utah 7. Connecticut 8. Colorado 9. North Dakota 10. New Jersey
The metrics that deemed these states as the healthiest are thorough and logical. All of these states have an average life expectancy of about 80 years, with Hawaii’s average expectancy being 81.3 years. The national average for obesity is 27.6%, and all of these states were 3-4% under that mean.
Additional metrics for identifying the healthiest states include percentage of smokers and adults with health care, as well as workplace conditions and the state of both physical and mental health.
While food and dietary choices are a very crucial element of overall wellness, mental health is also vitally important.
Mental Health America, put together an extremely in-depth study titled The State of Mental Health in America. It identifies which states are most mentally stable. This study catalogs dozens of metrics to categorize the states. In an overall sense the most mentally healthy states in America are as follows:
1. Massachusetts 2. Vermont 3. Maine 4. North Dakota 5. Delaware 6. Minnesota 7. Maryland 8. New Jersey 9. South Dakota 10. Nebraska
But what exactly do these metrics entail? The main factors in this study included number of people with mental health conditions, suicide rates in both adults and young adults, accessibility to help, and the current conditions of the social worker/mental health professional workforce. About 17.6 million Americans abuse alcohol or are dependent on a substance. Drug and alcohol addiction also play a large role in what makes a state more or less mentally healthy.
Notice the states that are repeated? North Dakota, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, and New Jersey all take spots in both lists.
Out of these repeats, Vermont takes the second position in both lists, making it arguably the healthiest state in America. In Vermont average life expectancy is 80.5 years, 92% of people have health insurance, and only 16.5% of people smoke.
Did your home state make any of these lists? If not what area of health is lacking where you live? Do you personally fit into this unhealthy demographic?