Mary Tutwiler

Louisiana ranks last in health ratings

by Mary Tutwiler

Once again, Louisiana has waddled to the bottom of the heap, surpassing even Mississippi as the unhealthiest state in the union. That’s according to the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention advocacy group’s 19th annual state-by-state rankings. Vermont, for the second year in a row, outpaced other states as the healthiest place to live. Key factors measured to come up with the rankings include obesity, smoking, binge drinking, health insurance coverage, air pollution, infectious disease rates, crime levels and immunization coverage. Contributing to Louisiana’s last place showing were the abysmal numbers for health insurance — one in five Louisiana residents lack coverage, according to the report. Other statistics show 31 percent of the population to be obese. High rates of child poverty, infant mortality and premature death rates also contributed to Louisiana’s dead last spot. To read the entire report, click here.