The official 2014 U.S. health rankings: Not good, even in the “healthiest” states

The official “America’s Health Rankings” report for 2014 has just been released. And the powers that be are busy patting themselves on the back. But the fact is, we’re a long way off from any self-congratulatory celebrating.

The state-by-state info came from agencies and organizations including the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association.

And these so-called health “experts” are trumpeting the news that the healthiest states boasted lower obesity and smoking prevalence, lower rates of cancer and cardiovascular deaths, and more.

But all this fanfare is muffling the fact that the overall study actually noted extremely discouraging rates of diabetes, physical activity, and obesity—which  is up 150 percent since 1990.

Wait a minute, you might be thinking. What kind of reporting is this? You haven’t even told me what the healthiest and unhealthiest states are!

The truth is…it doesn’t matter.

The dangerous trends in diabetes and obesity apply to the country as a whole.

And the nationwide obesity epidemic alone is still way too much of a problem for us to start handing out tiaras and sashes at the state level.

In 2014, I wrote a lot about this epidemic. Let’s start 2015 by taking a look once more at what we can do to fight the war against obesity. Then, let’s fight together with renewed passion.

It’s fine if you take a few minutes to flip through these healthy-state surveys just out of curiosity. But remember, no matter what state you live in—whether it’s ranked as the healthiest, the unhealthiest, or somewhere in between—you have the power to take control of your health and change it for the better.

Here’s to doing just that in 2015.