NH DHHS - New Hampshire Second Healthiest State in the Nation

Concord, NH - The State of New Hampshire received a second-place ranking

among the 50 states and the District of Columbia today by the Trust for

America’s Health in their report A Call to Action for Individuals and Their

Communities. The report looked at various health indicators, such as

obesity and smoking rates, and ranked all the states based on the data.

Last year New Hampshire was ranked third. Some of New Hampshire’s strengths

are a low percentage of children in poverty, a low rate of violent crime,

and a high immunization rate, meaning most people have their children

vaccinated against childhood diseases.

“We are in general a healthy state,” said Dr. José Montero, Public Health

Director at DHHS, “but we know there is work to be done, especially in the

area of chronic diseases. New Hampshire residents are continuing to become

heavier overall, our smoking rate is still too high, and the number of

people with diabetes is increasing rapidly. We can and must do better.”

The report looks at a wide range of indicators including heart disease

deaths, cancer rates, the percentage of patients who receive prenatal care,

the premature birth rate, the number of residents without health insurance

and more. Then the scores are calculated to determine an overall ranking.

While the percentage of Granite Staters who smoke has been steadily

decreasing, the number of those who are overweight or obese has been

climbing dramatically since 1990.

“It is extremely important to maintain a healthy weight,” continued Dr.

Montero, “and to be physically active to improve our overall health.

Diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, arthritis and other diseases are

directly linked to poor diet, excess weight, and lack of exercise. With the

New Year we should all make a resolution to eat a healthier diet and move

more. Even small changes, such as a 10% drop in body weight and walking 15

minutes more a day, can have a big impact.”

To read the entire report, go to www.healthyamericans.org  For more

information about any of the issues addressed, visit the NH Department of

Health and Human Services website at www.dhhs.nh.gov. For tips on getting

healthy, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/obesity.htm