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Report: U.S. finally holds the line on obesity; Minnesotans among healthiest

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For the first time in decades, the U.S. does not have to loosen its belt another notch.

This year's edition of an annual report called "America's Health Rankings" found the country's obesity rate was flat in 2013 and Minnesota helped lead the way.

As Northland's News Center reports, Minnesota was ranked as the third healthiest state, trailing only Hawaii and Vermont. The analysis of federal data found Minnesotans are more likely to be physically active, less likely to have diabetes, and have one of the country's lowest rates of death from cardiovascular disease.

The rankings were put together by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention.

On their Minnesota page they note that the percentage of people who are inactive fell from nearly 22 percent last year to 17 percent . A decrease in pertussis was also a positive, but an increase in child poverty and the prevalence of binge drinking were negatives.

As for the national results, the doctors behind the report consider holding the line on obesity a victory. A medical adviser with United Health Foundation told Kaiser Health News the country should "celebrate its gains" on that front.

The Kaiser story notes that nine of the ten states with the lowest health rankings are in the South.

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