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Tennessee ranks 44th in overall health; smoking, obesity blamed

Staff Report • Nov 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Tennessee ranked 44th among states in overall health, but 45th in smoking and 47th in obesity, both of which cause costly preventable diseases, said "America's Health Rankings."

This is the 20th year United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention have ranked states' health. Though some progress has been made - infant mortality, crime rates and infectious disease have declined - lack of insurance and prenatal care and the high school dropout rate continue to rise, it states.

But the biggest problem is obesity - more than one in four Americans are now considered obese - followed closely by smoking, a habit of one in five Americans. Nearly a quarter of Tennesseans smoke.

Read the complete report at the Knoxville News Sentinel's Web site.

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