(Host) According to a new report, Vermont is the healthiest state in the country to live in. The report, which was released by the Morgan Quitno Press, analyzed a variety of factors including the percentage of people covered by health insurance, the number of new cancer cases, the percentage of people who smoke or are overweight, death rates and seat belt usage.
Health Commissioner Jan Carney says she’s very pleased by the report because many of its components are issues that the state has worked on in the past few years:
(Carney) “The other very positive aspect is many of these indicators they are looking at focus on prevention, which is really been a hallmark of our public health efforts.”
(Host) Despite the findings of the report, Carney says there are several areas where the state needs to improve in the future:
(Carney) “A few that I would cite as particularly challenging are the adult smoking rate – it’s still about 21%. We’re trying to reduce that by half by the year 2010. The proportion of Vermonters who are overweight and not engaging in any sort of ongoing physical activity is still too high and alcohol use among young people and adults is still contributing to significant public health issues.”
(Host) Carney says the other major health problem facing the state is the growing use of heroin among young people.