Published Dec. 11, 2012
South Carolina’s overall health ranking among U.S. states slid one spot to No. 46 this year. And the state had the second-worst ranking for diabetes in the nation, according to the United Health Foundation.
Study highlights for S.C.
While the nation is adept at treating illness and disease, the study suggests Americans are struggling to change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and obesity.
The report also confirms the findings of many other studies — that obesity is a huge and growing burden on the health of South Carolinians. The study charted the percentage of adult South Carolinians who are obese in the years since 1990, when the figure was about 15%. Today, that figure has soared to more than 30%.
And obesity contributes to the state’s worst health indicator, the incidence of diabetes. In the latest study, 12.1% of adults surveyed said they had been told by their doctor that they had diabetes.
Across the U.S., Vermont was ranked as the nation’s healthiest state for the sixth consecutive year. Hawaii is ranked second, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Mississippi and Louisiana tied as the least healthy states in the U.S., followed by Arkansas, No. 48; West Virginia, No. 47; and South Carolina.
New Jersey, Maryland, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Rhode Island showed the most substantial improvement in the rankings, according to the report.