(AP) — Hoosiers' weight problems, lack of exercise and other unhealthy
habits landed Indiana a spot in the bottom 10 in a ranking of America's
healthiest states released Tuesday.
Health Rankings lists Indiana 41st in its annual review, slipping four
spots from last year. The report is published by the United Health
Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for
Health Association Executive Director Jerry King told The Indianapolis
Star that the low ranking came as no surprise.
"The trend of
Hoosiers paying really serious attention to their health has always been a
problem," he said.
found more than one-quarter of Hoosiers smoke, and more than 30 percent of
adults are obese, about three points lower than the U.S. level. Just over
29 percent of Indiana's population has not had any physical activity or
outside work within the past 30 days, giving them a sedentary lifestyle.
moved up in the rankings, which may have helped to push Indiana down in
the list, said Eric Wright, director of the Center for Health Policy at
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
But it's still
a wake-up call, he said. Besides personal traits like obesity and smoking,
bigger factors like air pollution and low public health funding contribute
to Indiana's status. And physical health is reflected in economic health,
line is, this is very much intertwined with our economic health," Wright
said. "If we don't have a healthy work force, we will not have a healthy
economy. By promoting more public health, we will improve our economy."
which considers behavioral, statistical and environmental factors, found
Indiana spent $44 per person on public health, ranking it 47th among all
states. Hawaii, which spends the most, spends $236.
"We don't do
enough," Wright said. "If Indiana is serious about it, the Legislature
should be putting more funding behind the State Department of Health to
There were a
few bright spots, though: Indiana fared better than other states when it
came to binge drinking and the number of people who don't have health
insurance. Earlier this year, legislators passed a law banning smoking in
many public places, including restaurants. And Indiana University is
opening two schools of public health, in Bloomington and in Indianapolis.
from: The Indianapolis Star,