(12/11/2014)
The 2014 ranking from the United Health Foundation of healthiest states is out, and for the first time in 25 years, West Virginia is up from the bottom.

West Virginia is ranked 44th in overall health for the year.

"It's certainly something to celebrate," said Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for United Retiree Solutions and adviser to the United Health Foundation, "Last year you were ranked 46th and 25 years ago when we began this report, you were ranked 48th. It's a slow, but steady increase."

The overall ranking was improved by three main factors.

"You're ranked #1 in infectious disease and #2 in low prevalence of binge drinking and a high per capita of public health funding," Randall said.

The notorious health problems in West Virginia continue to be major contributing factors to the state's problems.

West Virginia is ranked #50 for smoking with 27 percent of the state's adult population still smoking, higher in Calhoun County.

Obesity continues to be a problem with 35 percent of the state's adults reporting they are obese, ranking the state 49th.

Thirty-one percent of the state's adults surveyed indicated they have no physical activity outside of their everyday lives.


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