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Minnesotans are getting fatter

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Obesity rates in Minnesota are climbing, more of our kids are living in poverty, and we just don't line up for immunizations the way we used to. And to top things off, the state has slipped out of the Top 5 of the United Health Foundation's annual state-by-state health rankings. We were ranked third in 2008. Now we're sixth.

  • Last year, 84.7 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months received complete immunizations. This year it's 77.4 percent.
  • The percentage of children living in poverty is 15.6 percent. Five years ago it was 9.7 percent.
  • This year, 25.1 percent of Minnesotans were classified as obese. Five years ago that figure stood at 16.2 percent.
Any good news? Yes. 

  • Since 1990, the infant mortality rate declined from 8.9 to 5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Researchers estimate that the direct healthcare cost of obesity for the state of Minnesota is $1,475 million. If current obesity levels are maintained, in 10 years Minnesota could save $3,076 million off a projected $31,802 million healthcare bill. That's $719 for every adult in the state.

Seriously. We keep this up and we're going slide right past Wisconsin and on down the Big Muddy into Mississippi territory.

Which states are on top?

1-Vermont
2-Utah
3-Massachusetts
4-Hawaii
5-New Hampshire

And the least healthy?

46-SouthCarolina
47-Louisiana
48-Alabama
49-Oklahoma
50-Mississippi