United Health Foundation ranks Ohio No. 35 for healthiness; smoking, air pollution negative factors

CLEVELAND - An annual study out on Tuesday ranks Ohio in the middle. The United Health Foundation lists Ohio at the 35th spot.

The study said the state's immunization coverage and low workplace deaths are strengths. A high level of smoking, air pollution and a high rate of preventable hospitalization are weaknesses.

Dr. Michael Roizen is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic. Over the past seven years, the Cleveland Clinic has succeeded in driving down their medical costs by implementing programs that make it easier for employees to make good choices.

"Smoking cessation, not hiring smokers, physical activity, free fitness centers and changing food, getting rid of fryers and trans fat," said Roizen.

Thousands of hospital employees have kicked the smoking habit and employees have lost a combined 360,000 pounds, said Roizen.

Roizen said 75 percent of all medical costs are due to smoking, food choices and portion size, lack of physical activity and stress.

Michigan came in at No. 37, Indiana at No. 41, Kentucky at No. 44 and West Virginia at No. 47. Pennsylvania was 26.
 
The study found that Vermont and Hawaii are the healthiest states, while Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last.

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