S.C. moves up one spot in America's Health Rankings

S.C. moves up one spot in America's Health Rankings http://ift.tt/1ssJNFl
S.C. moves up one spot in America's Health Rankings

"When you have ranking systems like this, for us to move up one, (it) means someone else moved back one," said Lillian Smith, the assistant dean for practice and community engagement at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health. "Does that mean that we improved or someone else got worse? You've got to take these things with a grain of salt."

The report, which is released every December, is sponsored by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. Hawaii earned the top spot in this year's rankings. Mississippi was named the least healthy state. Most states in the bottom 10 are in the South.

Nationally, there is also room for improvement. Obesity rates and the percentage of adults who aren't physically active increased between 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, infant mortality and the number of Americans who are smoking decreased slightly year over year, while the percentage of adolescents who were adequately immunized increased.

"We applaud hard-won advances in several key measures, including smoking prevalence, even as this year's America's Health Rankings is a solemn reminder that we have a lot more work ahead of us," said Dr. Reed Tuckson, senior medical adviser for the United Health Foundation, in a prepared statement.

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