New data on the health of these United States
More physicians generally leads to better, or at least more available, health care for a state's population.
May 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

New data on the health of these United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual health report for 2011 on Wednesday. The report contains more than 150 data tables on the U.S. population's well-being, with a special focus on socioeconomic status.

Here are a few of the interesting tidbits we found. For more, visit www.cdc.gov.

The Bible Belt needs more doctors. On average, there were 25 physicians for every 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2009. The Northeast, Hawaii and Minnesota had the highest ratio of doctors to patients, while states in the South and Rocky Mountain-areas had fewer than 21 per 10,000.

Your education level affects your kids' weight. The CDC collected data on childhood obesity between 2007 and 2010. Where the head of the household had a college degree, 7 to 11% of children aged 2 to 19 were obese. But when the head of the household was a high school dropout, 22 to 24% of the children were obese.

Cigarette smoking is still on the decline. In 2010, 19% of U.S. adults smoked, down 2% from 2009. Over the last decade cigarette smoking among students in 12th grade has decreased from 33% to 22% for male students and from 30% to 16% for female students.

Fewer teens are giving birth. Between 1998 and 2008, birth rates declined 27% for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17.

The gap is widening in education... In 2006, men without a high school diploma were expected to live 9.3 years less than those with a Bachelor's degree. The difference is two years more than it was in 1996. A similar gap increase holds true for women.

... and narrowing in racial disparities. While the gap between life expectancy rates for African Americans and whites still exists, the gap has narrowed over the last two decades. Hispanics still have higher life expectancies than both ethnic groups.

We're getting better at getting check-ups. In 2010, 59% of people over the age of 50 underwent a recent colorectal test or procedure, compared to 34% in 2000.

Heart disease is still the No 1. killer. In 2008, 617,000 people died from heart disease-related causes. The prevalence among adult men and women has remained fairly steady for the last decade.

Our children are fat, but not getting fatter. In 2010, approximately one in every five children was obese. Yet that rate has stayed pretty steady since 2007. That year, 19.6% of children aged 6 to 11 were obese. In 2010, it was 18%.

Most people aren't moving enough. In 2010 more than half of American adults failed to meet the government's recommended daily physical activity levels. It was worse for the elderly - approximately 70% of those over 75 didn't meet the requirements.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. David T

    Dear Dr Gupta,
    The following were ways I have discovered to quit smoking and lose some weight. I wanted to share these ideas so others may do the same.
    1) The following were steps I took to quit smoking. It has been over 21 years since I quit.
    A) Break down the times you take, in your mind, into much smaller pieces of being smokes free. For example, do not think, this is my last cigarette forever. Think of it, as that this is my last smoke for an hour.
    B) It takes at least a few times of quitting smoking before you quit for good. It may be a few hours the first time. Then it may be a couple of days the second. Then it may be a whole week the third. Finally, it will be for good after a few times of quitting.
    C) Do not expose yourself to second hand smoke. Even after you have quit for over a few years, this second hand smoke will cause a desire to smoke once again. It makes it especially hard if your spouse continues to smoke.
    D) Can being on antidepressant medicine help with getting over every nicotine fits? I was on one when I finally quit.
    2) I was almost obese at one time. Today, my BMI is well within the ideal weight. The following were ways, I discovered, that has helped me to lose weight.
    A) If at all possible, try to exercise outdoors. I have read that the best way to lose weight is to exercise the great outdoors. It is certainly true for me.
    This may include walking and biking.
    Fortunately, there are many bike and walking trails near my home. They even have a walking trail around a lake in my town. People simply park near this lake to go walking or jogging. I believe communities should build more walking trails; so people may better manage their weight.
    B) After you exercise, you do not crave junk food as much. People may want to consume unhealthy foods for "comfort." Exercise is good stress relief. Plus it seems your brain chemistry is affected for the better from exposure to sunshine.
    C) You sleep much better after a day of exercising. Thus you feel much better the next day.
    These were ways I have discovered to quit smoking and lose some weight. I wanted to share these ideas so others may do the same.

    May 16, 2012 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser


      May 16, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • richard dean

      Smoking is a major problem for all people right now. It's seem, there is no solutions about how to stop smoking. May be Government should do something really big step to prevent people from smoking. Maybe prohibited all people from smoking right away. I wonder how long this situations going. 🙂 . Thanks for your good info.

      May 25, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
  2. 0,0

    as the old saying goes YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE

    May 16, 2012 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. L-Jay Health

    Reblogged this on L-Jay Health and commented:
    I found this article posted by CNN to be very interesting. Cigarette smoking is going down which is great!

    May 16, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Guy Smiley

    Red states vs Blue states. no surprise. thanks GOP

    May 17, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lkafle

    Reblogged this on lava kafle kathmandu nepal.

    May 19, 2012 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Love me some exercise!

    May 20, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. richard dean

    Smoking is a major problem for all people right now. It's seem, there is no solutions about how to stop smoking. May be Government should do something really big step to prevent people from smoking. Maybe prohibited all people from smoking right away. I wonder how long this situations going. 🙂 . Thanks for your good info. http://www.ehowtostopsmoking.net

    May 25, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. GTD

    If smoking is declining you have trouble noticing that in the Midwest. As most places have banned indoor smoking you can see the extent of this bad habit from the piles of cigarette butts on the ground.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.