According to some interesting research recently released by the United Health Foundation, Virginia is ranked 20th among the states for health. Our state demonstrated a variety of health strengths, including a low rate of violent crime, a high use of early prenatal care, and a low percentage of children in poverty. In fact, in the past year, the percentage of children in poverty decreased from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent of persons under age 18.
However, it’s clear that there is still room for improvement. In the past year, binge drinking increased from 13.6 percent to 15.3 percent of adults in the state. In the past five years, diabetes increased from 6.9 percent to 8.7 percent of the population – meaning 535,000 Virginia adults now have diabetes. In the past ten years, our obesity rates drastically increased from 18.2 percent to 26.4, with more than 1.6 million obese adults in the state.
There’s also lukewarm news when it comes to cigarette smoking. While smoking has decreased from 21.4 percent to 18.5 percent of adults in the last ten years, this is a much smaller reduction than national statistics show in other states, and more than 1.1 million adults still smoke in Virginia.
See how the rest of the states stack up against Virginia at United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings website.
+ Trying to lose weight? The Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute has an individualized weight loss program that will meet your needs.
+ Recently diagnosed diabetics can find support and information at our free outpatient diabetes classes in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.