Here Are the Least Healthy Cities in Every State — Some Will Surprise You

Written by on November 26, 2015 in Diet, Weight Loss, Obesity, Health with 0 Comments


By Thomas C. Frolich, Evan Comen, Sam Stebbins & Micael B. Sauter | 24/7 Wall Street

1. Gadsden, Alabama
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 8.6%
> Obesity rate: 33.8%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 7.0%

Related Article: Doing This One Simple Thing Daily Reduces Your Risk of Obesity by One-Third

Alabama is one of the nation’s least healthy states. So Gadsden, the state’s least healthy metro area, is also one of the least healthy areas in the nation. Nearly 23% of Gadsden adults reported fair or poor health, higher than the comparable state rate of 20.5%, which itself was the fourth highest such level of poor health compared to other states. An estimated 9,508 years of life are lost annually per 100,000 people in Alabama, the third highest statewide level of premature death. In Gadsden, preventable deaths resulted in an estimated 11,057 years of life lost per 100,000 area residents.

2. Anchorage, Alaska
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 4.9%
> Obesity rate: 27.9%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 5.8%

Related Article: Here’s A Diet That Actually Works, and Has the Science to Prove It

Anchorage and Fairbanks are the only two metro areas in Alaska, and Anchorage earns the distinction of least healthy. However, as is the case across the nation, residents living in more urban areas tend to be healthier than residents living in more rural areas. As a result, even though Anchorage is the least healthy urban area in Alaska, it still performs better than the rest of the state in several health measures. For example, the incidence of premature death in the area, measured at 6,889 years lost annually per 100,000 people, was lower than the state’s estimate. However, preventable death nationwide resulted in fewer years lost compared to Anchorage. Both Anchorage residents and Alaskans statewide reported above-average alcohol consumption. Close to one in five people in Anchorage reported binge or heavy drinking, in line with the state proportion, but higher than the national proportion.

3. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Arizona
> Pct. without health insurance:
> Pct. food insecure: 17.3%
> Obesity rate: 26.6%
> 2014 unemployment rate: 8.8%

Related Article: Unemployment and Poverty in America: 75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Lake Havasu is one of the widest points in the Colorado River, which separates Arizona from California. The city on the lake is about an hour drive from Kingman, which is also part of the metro area. While Arizona residents had relatively healthy habits, residents of the Lake Havasu-Kingman metro area were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise than their peers across the state and nationwide. Less than 17% of Arizonans reported a smoking habit, while in the Lake Havasu area, 26.9% smoked. And while just over 20% of Arizona residents were physically inactive, 30.8% of the metro residents were, likely contributing to the higher obesity rate. Nearly 27% of area residents were obese, higher than the state’s obesity rate of 23.9%.


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