Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:17

Louisiana makes "healthy" leap to 48th in United Healthcare study

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celebrateGreat news for Louisiana. Hooray!!

The state is no longer the 49th healthiest state in the United States.


It made a whopping improvement.  It now lies, or perhaps sits, at 48th.

And, thank the Lord for Mississippi--which according to the 24th Edition of America’s Health Rankings ®, is dead last.

Well, not dead, actually, just 50th in its health. 

The rankings, according to the report has its share of strengths and challenges, such as:
Louisiana’s Strengths:

Small disparity in health status by educational attainment
High immunization coverage among adolescents
Low incidence of pertussis infections
Louisiana’s Challenges:

High prevalence of physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes
High percentage of children in poverty
High infant mortality rate & high prevalence of low birth weight
Key Louisiana Challenges Addressed by UnitedHealthcare Programs

UnitedHealthcare watches America’s Health Rankings® closely to better understand the health of individuals and communities across the nation and in Louisiana UnitedHealthcare has several programs in place designed to address the nation’s health challenges at a state level. These programs help educate people on living healthier lives and empower communities to take action to improve their health.

One such program is the American Heart Association’s Start! Walking Paths. To show its support for walking and fit communities, UnitedHealth Group made a three-year, $1.95 million commitment to support the American Heart Association’s Start! Walking Paths program. The goal is to create 150 new, safe and accessible walking paths throughout the United States. The first New Orleans Walking Path officially opened in May 2012 across from New Orleans City Hall, and was followed by a second, residential path, located in Palmer Park in Uptown New Orleans. Plans for a third path are currently in discussion.

Another program is “Heart Smart Sisters” which teams up UnitedHealthcare with clinics and community and faith-based organizations to offer classes to educate women about the causes of heart disease, the benefits of a healthy diet and the importance of regular exercise to help reduce their risk of developing the disease.

“Programs such as these help combat the high rate of physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes that unfortunately plague our city and state,” said Dr. Penny S. Walker, Sr. Medical Director for UnitedHealthcare-Southeast Region.

Additionally, United Health Foundation provides a variety of tools to help communities and individuals make healthy choices, including customizable reports, enhanced social media and other innovative online resources on its website,

The study claims Hawaii is the healthiest state; Mississippi is least healthy and that Nationwide, Americans made improvements in a majority of health measures

· Improvements span key behavioral measures including smoking and physical inactivity
· Serious challenges remain; maintaining momentum is key

The America’s Health Rankings® report and its tools – including analysis not only of state populations but also sub-populations within states – are designed to identify health opportunities in communities as well as multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary approaches to address those opportunities. Through its programs and grants, United Health Foundation shines a spotlight on the health of America while promoting evidence-based solutions. As part of this commitment, United Health Foundation has partnered with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and with the National Business Coalition on Health to create learning laboratories that identify and promote best practices and innovations in public health. To learn more about America’s Health Rankings – and to get information on how to help improve community health – visit

Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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