US States with the best and worst diets

1. New Hampshire
> Adults eating vegetables at least once a day: 82.7% (3rd highest)
> Adults eating fruit at least once a day: 66.7% (the highest)
> Students who drink soda/pop at least once a day 13.0%
> Obesity rate: 26.3% (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (the lowest)

New Hampshire residents are the most likely of any state to have a balanced diet. Some 82.7% of adults in the state incorporate vegetables into at least one of their meals daily, which tops the 77.9% of adults nationwide who report similar vegetable consumption. A whopping 66.7% eat fruit at least once per day, the largest share of any state.

Higher income households have access to a greater range of healthy options related to diet and lifestyle. Partially as a result, residents of states with higher median household incomes tend to be healthier as a whole. The median household income in New Hampshire is $70,936 a year, over $13,000 above the median income nationwide. The state also has the lowest poverty rate of all the states at just 7.3%.

2. Vermont
> Adults eating vegetables at least once a day: 82.4% (4th highest)
> Adults eating fruit at least once a day: 66.1% (2nd highest)
> Students who drink soda/pop at least once a day 14.8%
> Obesity rate: 25.1% (8th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (19th lowest)

Residents of Vermont are more likely to have healthier dietary habits than most Americans. Some 66.1% of adults in Vermont eat fruit at least once every day, and 82.4% eat vegetables at least one time per day — both significantly better than the respective national average shares of 59.8% and 77.9%.

A balanced diet, while important, is only one component of a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise is another. In Vermont, nearly 60% of adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise at a moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of aerobic activity at vigorous-intensity each week, a larger share than in all but two other states. Higher than average exercise rates and well-balanced diets partially explain why only 25.1% of adults in Vermont are obese, one of the smaller shares among states.

3. Oregon
> Adults eating vegetables at least once a day: 83.5% (the highest)
> Adults eating fruit at least once a day: 63.5% (Tied — 10th highest)
> Students who drink soda/pop at least once a day N/A
> Obesity rate: 30.1% (22nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.3% (Tied — 24th lowest)

The adult population in Oregon report some healthy dietary habits. Some 83.5% of adults eat vegetables at least once daily, the highest percentage of any state and well above the national average of 77.9%. Additionally, 63.5% of adults in the state consume fruit daily, a larger share than in most states.

Regular fruit and vegetable consumption — while important — does not mean large shares of adults are avoiding unhealthy sugary and fatty foods. Despite high fruit and vegetable consumption in the state, some 30.1% of adults in Oregon are obese, compared to only 28.9% of adults nationwide.

4. Washington
> Adults eating vegetables at least once a day: 83.1% (2nd highest)
> Adults eating fruit at least once a day: 63.5% (Tied — 10th highest)
> Students who drink soda/pop at least once a day N/A
> Obesity rate: 26.4% (14th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (Tied — 14th lowest)

Adults in Washington state tend to be diligent about incorporating at least one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables into their daily diet. Some 63.5% of the adult population eats fruit at least once daily and 83.1% eat vegetables at least one time per day, both of which top the national figures of 59.8% and 77.9%, respectively.

Further indicative of healthy lifestyles, a majority of adult residents in this West Coast state regularly participate in physical activities. Only 19.0% of adults in Washington lead completely sedentary lives, the second smallest share of any state in the country. Active lifestyles and balanced diets contribute to a lower likelihood of premature death across the population. For every 100,000 state residents, there are only 286 deaths before age 75, well below the 333 per 100,000 premature death rate nationwide.

5. Colorado
> Adults eating vegetables at least once a day: 82.2% (5th highest)
> Adults eating fruit at least once a day: 64.2% (Tied — 6th highest)
> Students who drink soda/pop at least once a day N/A
> Obesity rate: 20.2% (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (Tied — 12th lowest)

Residents of the mountainous state of Colorado have, for the most part, well-balanced diets. A total of 82.2% of adults integrate vegetables into their diet at least once daily, and 64.2% integrate fruit into at least one meal per day. Not only are these figures among the highest shares nationwide, but they also top the respective national average shares of 77.9% and 59.8%.

Colorado has the highest share of adults achieving 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of more intense aerobic exercise and strength training on two or more days of the week. The combination of a relatively healthy diet and regular exercise has likely contributed to some positive health outcomes in the state. For example, Colorado’s obesity rate of 20.2% is the lowest of any state.

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