Health rankings put Kansas higher than Missouri, but both have work to do

The United Health Foundation released America's Health Rankings 2012 report. The report ranked the nations healthiest states. The report found that Americans are living longer due to several medical advances but unhealthy and preventable illnesses threaten the quality of life.

In the report, neither Missouri nor Kansas came out on top as far as the healthiest states in the nation.

Missouri is ranked 42 overall while Kansas is ranked 24. There were several factors that contributed to the ranking such as smoking, childhood obesity, poverty and crime.

On both sides of the state line, there were challenges as well as improvements. The report found that in Missouri more than 1.1 million adults smoke. Also, in the past year, the percent of children in poverty increased from 20.5 to 23.1 percent. The percent of children in poverty was 12.5 percent in 2002. Also, air pollution has decreased in the past five years.

Kansas however, has one of the highest obesity rates in the United States. According to the report, there are more than 630,000 obese adults in the state. Also, the rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease decreased in the last 10 years.

Even with Kansas' high rate of obesity, Missouri's was even higher. The Show-Me State rated worse than Kansas in all theĀ  major categories, including obesity, smoking, diabetes, overall and all outcomes.

For a state-by-state comparison of Missouri and Kansas, visit

Meanwhile, Vermont came out on top and ranked number one. Hawaii ranked number two. Mississippi and Louisiana tied for 49th and ranked last.

For a look at all states' rankings, visit .

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