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Nutritional well-being across the states

health reporter map
Image from Health Reporter

Health Reporter has released its state-by-state ranking of nutritional well-being across the United States.

I thought it would be interesting to crossmatch this list with levels of produce consumption.

There’s a close correlation, especially on the lowest end of the spectrum.

Headshot of Richard Smoley

The bottom five in nutritional health:

50. Oklahoma

49. Mississippi

48. Louisiana

47. Arkansas

46. West Virginia

Notice how this matches the list for lowest in produce consumption:

50. Mississippi

49. Oklahoma

48. Alabama

47. Louisiana

46. West Virginia

Four out of five states—Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and West Virginia—appear on both lists.

Here are the states that are doing the best in nutritional well-being:

1. Massachusetts

2. Utah

3. Vermont

4. Minnesota

5. Colorado

The top five in produce consumption:

1. Vermont

2. Massachusetts

3. Connecticut

4. New York

5. Maine

Here is a smaller overlap—only two states out of five: Vermont and Massachusetts. But still, that’s a 40 percent match.

The overlap between the two lists can to a certain extent be explained by Health Reporter’s criteria for nutritional well-being:

“• Healthiest eaters score

“• Prevalence of 25 most popular diets

“• Number of fast food outlets

“• Meeting nutrients intake recommendations

“• Daily veggies consumption < 1 time”

Health Reporter’s criteria include daily vegetable consumption, making it more likely that the two lists will match up. Even so, the correspondence is striking.

Yet more evidence telling the nation what it knows but avoids acting on: the more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, the healthier you’re likely to be.


Richard Smoley, contributing editor for Blue Book Services, Inc., has more than 40 years of experience in magazine writing and editing, and is the former managing editor of California Farmer magazine. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, he has published 13 books.