NH DHHS - New Hampshire Third Healthiest State in the Nation

Concord, NH - The State of New Hampshire received a third-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 second, and in 2010 the State was also

ranked third. Some of New Hampshire’s strengths are a low sedentary

lifestyle rate, a low incidence of infectious disease, and a low rate of

children in poverty. New Hampshire has also seen a decline in the infant

mortality rate from 8.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 4.4 in 2012

and a decrease in the number of smokers.

“We are lucky to be living in such a healthy state,” said Dr. José Montero,

Public Health Director at DHHS, “but there is more work to be done. Our

obesity rate continues to climb and we can do better on our cancer and

diabetes rates.”

The report looks at a wide range of indicators including cardiovascular

disease deaths, preventable hospitalizations, immunization coverage, and

air pollution levels. 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 for overall health. Diabetes, heart

disease, some cancers, arthritis, sleep apnea, 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 eliminating sugary beverages 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