Arizona ranks 29th in healthiest states - Tucson News Now

Arizona ranks 29th in healthiest states

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

New health rankings show Arizona is among some of the unhealthiest states in the U.S.

The 2011 America's health rankings released by the United Health Foundation has Arizona ranked as the 29th healthiest state in overall health.

Arizona has seen a drop in smoking rates over the past decade as well as low rates in preventable hospitalizations, cancer and cardiovascular deaths.

The good news is that Arizona moved up two spots compared to last year when it was ranked 31 but it still suffers from other health factors.

Sheila Sjolander, acting assistant director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, says she is not surprised with the latest rankings.

Sjolander says obesity is the number one factor Arizonans should look out for.

She says Hispanics and Native Americans in Arizona suffer from the highest rates of obesity.

Tackling obesity should be a main priority for all Arizonans.

Also, Arizona has seen the number of diabetes double over the past ten years.

Sjolander adds the state is moving in a healthier direction but there needs to be a focus on educating the public on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.

Vermont was ranked the healthiest state while Mississippi came in as the least health states, just beating out Louisiana and Oklahoma.

For a full list of rankings and health statistics, click here.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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