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Americans Developing More Chronic Illnesses, Report Shows

A new health report shows that advances in health care are allowing Americans to live longer, with fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer, but we suffer more often from chronic illnesses such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

As reported in USA Today, Americans “are living longer, sicker” with more chronic illness, says Reed Tuckson of the United Health Foundation, sponsor of the report.

The report also ranked the general health of individual states, with Vermont topping the list as the healthiest. Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last place, said Tuckson, because these states are “over represented in key measures like tobacco consumption, lack of exercise and obesity — the fundamentals.”

States that showed the most substantial improvement in rank include New Jersey (up nine places on the list); Maryland (up five). Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island each moved up three. More than a quarter of Americans are sedentary, defined as not doing any physical activity outside of work for 30 days, and 27.8% of U.S. adults are obese, defined as being roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. That’s 66 million people — more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. 


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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.