FILE- Peaches

Fresh peaches at a farmer's market.

(The Center Square) - A recent report by the United Health Foundation showed more Indiana residents smoke more than most in other states and it ranks among the worst in physical activity.

Overall, Indiana ranked 36th in America’s Health Rankings 2020 Annual Report. The foundation states the report is the longest-running annual review of the country’s health on a state-by-state basis. New Hampshire received the best score. (https://www.americashealthrankings.org/learn/reports/2020-annual-report

Indiana’s health struggles showed in other areas as well. The state is near the bottom on public health funding and air pollution. It also scored poorly health providers due to costs, ranking particularly low in dental and mental health providers because of costs.

Some of the state’s the worst scores came in the areas of behaviors where it ranked 41th in tobacco use, 43th in physical activity and 35th in exercise.

The study found that 9.1% of Hoosiers consume two or more fruits and three or more vegetables daily. The U.S. average was 8%, with Vermont leading the way with 14.1% of its residents meeting the metric.  

The report stated that diets high in fruit and vegetable intake help mitigate the likelihood for such chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

The annual report states healthier eating has an estimated $114.5 billion impact on the nation’s economy. That includes medical savings, improved productivity and increased lifespans. 

For exercise, only 21.1%  of Hoosiers get either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. That’s compared to 23% of all Americans. Vermont, again, leads the nation at 28.5%. 

The foundation noted a study showing those who spend less time getting exercise spend about $920 more per year on healthcare. 

The annual report found that 21% of people in the state suffer from depression, while 11.7% suffer from multiple chronic conditions, with 27% suffering from arthritis. Also, 35.3% of Hoosiers are suffering from obesity.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.