Ohio Among Most Unhealthy States

Ohio has a reputation as a hard-working, gritty state with a lot of natural wonders. So the home of Ohio sportsbooks probably scores pretty well among states with the best health, right?

Well … maybe not.

BetOhio.com wanted to see what states were the unhealthiest, according to statistics for life expectancy, obesity, smoking rate and physical activity. We ranked each state by each factor, then created an overall list based on the average ranks for each unhealthy state. Here are the results:

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Top 10 Unhealthiest States

Rank

State

Average Rank

1

West Virginia

48.5

2

Mississippi

47.5

3

Louisiana

47

4

Alabama

45.25

T5

Kentucky

45

T5

Tennessee

45

7

Arkansas

44

8

Oklahoma

43

9

Ohio

40.25

10

Indiana

40

Why Ohio Ranks Poorly For Health

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Ohio is ninth on our list of least healthy states with an average rank of 40.25 in the categories we measured. It’s not an isolated phenomenon, either: Two of Ohio’s neighbors are on the list, with West Virginia at No. 1 with an average ranking of 48, and Indiana at No. 10 (average rank 40).

The other states on the top 10 list are in the Deep South or Southwest.

Ohio Health Breakdown by Category

Ohio ranked No. 13 for life expectancy, according to the National Center For Health Statistics at cdc.gov. The average life span for native-born Ohioans is 75.3 years, using 2020 data (the latest statistics available). That’s a fair bit better than bottom-ranked Mississippi (71.9 years) but nowhere near as encouraging as leader Hawaii (80.7 years).

Also according to the CDC, the Buckeye State is seventh in percentage of adults self-reporting as obese (with a body mass index of 30 or above) at 38.1%. The highest rate on that list was West Virginia at 41%; the lowest was Washington D.C. at 24.3%. Among states, Colorado ranked lowest at 25%.

The next set of data comes from quotewizard.com, which analyzed CDC data to come up with a list of most and least physically active states, as defined by the percentage of adults who do some sort of physically strenuous activity at least once a month. Ohio tied for No. 11 as an unhealthy state by this measure at 74%, the same as Maine, Indiana and New York. Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas were the worst at 69%; Colorado and Utah were the most active at 83%. The national average was 76%.

Finally, Ohio’s adult smoking rate is 17.1%, according to the American Lung Association, which reported that about 1.43 million people in the state smoked. That was No. 6 in the nation for highest smoking rate, the worst finish among our four measures for unhealthy state standards. The highest smoking rate reported was West Virginia at 21%; the lowest was Utah at 6.7%.

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Author

Ohio native Jim Tomlin has 30 years of experience in journalism, mostly in sports. He lends his expertise to BetOhio.com as a writer and editor after previous experience at the Tampa Bay Times, FanRag, Saturday Down South and Saturday Tradition.

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