Colorado still least obese state, but slips to No. 10 overall in annual health ranking

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DENVER — Colorado is still the fittest state in the country, but other factors dropped the state to No. 10 for overall health, according to an annual report.

America’s Health Rankings from United Health Foundation ranked Colorado as the eighth healthiest state last year.

While the state fared well in terms of a low percentage of people who are physically inactive (17.9 percent, best in the country) and had the lowest rate of diabetes per capita (6.8 percent), it scored poorly when it came to excessive drinking and drug-related deaths.

United Health Foundation annually looks at behaviors, public and health policies, community and environmental conditions, and clinical care data to provide its rankings, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment said.

One in five adults in Colorado is obese, the best rate in the country, but the state ranks 48th in disparity in health status, which compared the health status of those who graduated from high school to those who did not.

The report said 22.7 percent of high school students in Colorado don’t graduate within four years of entering ninth grade (45th nationally) and the state has a high rate of whooping cough cases (24.3 percent, ranking 46th).

Excessive drinking was defined as four consecutive drinks for women and five for men and at 19.1 percent, and Colorado ranked 36th. The state was 33rd in drug-related deaths at 16 per 100,000 people, above the national average of 14 per 100,000.

Hawaii was named the healthiest state, followed by Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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