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Colorado still the least obese state and No. 1 in physical activity

Mark Salley, Communications Director |303-692-2013|



Colorado still the least obese state and No. 1 in physical activity


DENVER — Colorado is the eighth healthiest state according to United Health Foundation’s annual health rankings, released today. The index ranks Colorado as the least obese state, No. 1 in physicial activity and second lowest in diabetes prevalence.

Gov. John Hickelooper said, "It's no surprise that Colorado retained its No. 1 ranking as the least obese state in the nation. With our abundant year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, it’s natural that Coloradans also rank first in physical activity.”

Colorado ranked second lowestin cardiovascular deaths and third lowest in cancer deaths. Both rankings were unchanged from 2014.

Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said, “The health of individuals depends on many entities working together to promote and support healthy living. For example, employers provide jobs with a living wage and health insurance while land-use planners create neighborhoods with areas for recreation and outlets for healthy food.”

Recent examples of Colorado’s public health-based efforts to ensure conditions in which entire populations can be healthy include:

  • Facilitating timely and complete immunizations among children and other populations at risk for infectious diseases.
  • Reducing deaths from motor vehicle accidents across populations, especially younger drivers, through education about driving safety, seatbelt use and distracted driving.
  • Developing policies such as limits on cigarette advertising and bans on smoking in public areas to decrease smoking and help reduce smoking-related heart disease, hypertension and respiratory disease.
  • Reducing prescription drug abuse and overdose by supporting prescription drug monitoring programs that require pharmacy participation and physician registration.
  • Reducing teen pregnancy through efforts to make long-acting reversible contraception available to teens, which reduces maternal and infant morbidity and mortality and the likelihood of subsequent unintended pregnancies among teens and young adults. This work provides teens opportunities to escape poverty, complete an education and join the workforce.

Each year, United Health Foundation analyzes behaviors, public and health policies, community and environmental conditions, and clinical care data to provide its annual health rankings.