❓ How healthy are Montanans?

❓ Where does Montana rank for being overweight and obese?

❓ What aspects of health do Montanans need to focus on?

Are you healthy? It might seem like a simple question, but it's not. Health is not just determined by whether you have a cold, or if you have a chronic illness, health is determined by multiple factors. The CDC indicates that the "social determinants of health" are:

  • genetics
  • behavior
  • environmental and physical influences
  • medical care
  • social factors

They also point out that, "These five categories are interconnected."

That means that while Montanans might be unhealthy in one regard, they might be healthy in another.

Montana's Mental Health

For a long time, Montana has had a high rate of suicide. Cams-care.com notes that Montana is currently ranked 2nd in the nation for its high suicide rate, however, new data suggests, that Montana may be ranked number one, though, data is subject to change.

Montana's Physical Health

A new study suggests that Montana's physical health may be better than other states, particularly when it comes to the prevalence of being overweight or obese.

Is it unhealthy to be overweight or obese? 

Yes and no. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health acknowledges that "Excess weight, especially obesity, diminishes almost every aspect of health, from reproductive and respiratory function to memory and mood." Yet, research reviewed in an article from Science points out "...many people with obesity have healthy cholesterol and blood glucose levels, whereas many lean people do not."

How Montana Ranks for Being Obese and Overweight

The study from WalletHub shows that out of 51 states including the District of Columbia, Montana ranks 49th for prevalence of obesity and overweight. Utah ranked 50th and Colorado ranked 51st. But just because we don't have a high population of people who are overweight or obese, it doesn't mean we are necessarily healthy either.

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Montana Ranked 7th for Health Consequences

As defined by the study, health consequences included things like the share of adults with high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, or Hypertension, among other metrics. Meaning, we ranked high for having conditions that could negatively impact our health.

Montana Ranked 37th for Food and Fitness 

Unfortunately, Montana didn't rank much better when it came to eating fruits and vegetables or drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Data also seemed to indicate that a portion of Montana's adults, teens and children are inactive. This may be an area where Montanans could improve their health outcomes.

Overall, Montana ranked 43rd out of 51 States, so still in the top 10 for this particular study.

LOOK: Best counties to raise a family in Montana

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Montana.

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