Arizona slipped four slots – from 27th in 2009 to 31st in 2010 – in the latest America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, Partnership for Prevention and the American Public Health Association. While Arizona ranked high in low rates of cancer and cardiovascular deaths (4th), preventable hospitalizations (7th) and smoking rates (11th), the state ranked near the bottom in childhood poverty rates (49th), percent of uninsured (46th) and percent spent on public health funding (43rd).
Arizona does better on actual health outcomes (23rd) than on determinants of health (32nd). However you slice it, there is considerable room for improvement.
Take prevalence of obesity. To move from a rank of 19th to 10th, we would have to decrease the percent of the population that is obese from 25.8 percent to 24.5 percent. Certainly that ought to be doable. Check out Maryvale on the Move for one example of a local community initiative that is focused on policy and environmental changes to reduce obesity through healthy eating and active living (HEAL). We need more efforts like this.