North Dakota Ranked As Nation’s 12th Healthiest State

By Ryan Schuster

North Dakota was ranked as the 12th healthiest state in the nation in the 2012 America’s Health Rankings, down one spot from an 11th place ranking in 2011.

The index ranked states by a number of measures, including obesity rate, sedentary lifestyles, prevalence of smoking, binge drinking, high school graduation rates, physical activity, cholesterol checks, annual dental visits, fruit consumption and teen birth rate. North Dakota’s strong showing in the rankings was helped by its high school graduation rate, high rate of immunization, low air pollution levels and low percentage of children living in poverty.

North Dakota’s diabetes rate is lower than many other states, but more than 40,000 adults in North Dakota have diabetes and the state’s diabetes rate doubled between 1990 and 2011. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is working to fight diabetes and to improve the overall health of North Dakotans in a number of ways. Our MediQHome program is helping to improve the treatment of diabetes and other chronic conditions by leading to greater collaboration between doctors and more coordinated care. The Official Sponsor of Recess platform is also helping to combat childhood obesity in the state by encouraging movement and activity for children.

What do you think of the rankings? What makes North Dakota a healthy or unhealthy place to live?

Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.