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Wisconsin health rankings slip

Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  People in seven other states became healthier than Wisconsinites over the last year. That's according to the annual America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation. It ranks Wisconsin the 20th healthiest state, down from 13th a year ago.

A big problem is obesity, and it's on the rise. The new report says almost 3-of-every-10 Wisconsin adults are obese -- two-percent more than in 2012, in a year when national obesity failed to go up for the first time since 1998. Obesity is a major cause of diabetes -- which continues to be relatively low in Wisconsin with 8.3-percent of adults diagnosed with it. That's about the same as last year, with 370,000 adult diabetics.

Also the numbers of Badger State residents without health insurance rose from 8.5-percent of the population to 10-percent. However, the United Health report says that's still relatively low. Child immunization is up, but teen immunization rates dropped. We also have poor mental health more often, with an average of 3.7-days for every 30 -- up 14-percent from a year ago.

55-percent of Wisconsin adults 25-and-older with at least a high school education said their health is good-or-excellent. Only 31-percent said the same if they had less than a high school diploma.

Also the report says Wisconsin still has high rates of infectious diseases and binge drinking, and low public health funding to tackle those problems.

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