Special Report

States With The Best and Worst Diets

31. Florida
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
79.2% (14th highest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 62.0% (21st highest)
> Obesity rate: 26.4% (14th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 16.5% (16th highest)

About 62% of Florida’s adults do not eat fruit at least once each day, roughly in line with the nation as a whole. Also, residents eat vegetables at a rate similar to the national average rate. Of students in grades 9-12, 60.8% consume at least one fruit daily, also similar to the national share of 62.6%. Florida’s obesity rate of 26.4% is slightly lower than the 28.3% of adults nationwide who live with obesity.

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32. North Dakota
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
72.6% (5th lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 59.7% (19th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 31.0% (14th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.5% (9th lowest)

Roughly 60% of North Dakota’s adults eat fruit at least once each day, slightly lower than the national share of adults who consume fruit on a daily basis. On the other hand, 72.6% of adults eat vegetables daily, one of the lowest such proportions. A low share of the state’s residents consume vegetables despite a high concentration of farmer’s markets in the North Dakota. There are around 10 farmer’s markets per 100,000 state residents, the second highest concentration in the nation. North Dakota is also somewhat unusual in that it ranks on the lower end of this list despite having a very low poverty rate and very high incomes.

33. Pennsylvania
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
75.3% (15th lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 62.5% (18th highest)
> Obesity rate: 30.0% (19th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (21st lowest)

Pennsylvanians maintain a diet similar to the nation as a whole. Across the state, 62.5% of adults report eating fruit at least once daily, roughly in line with the 61.5% of adults nationwide who eat fruit daily. The state also eats its vegetables with a similar frequency as the national rate. About three-quarters of Pennsylvanian adults consume vegetables at least once throughout the day. Likewise, 77.6% of Americans report eating vegetables with a similar frequency. Not surprisingly, the state’s health outcomes are similar to the health outcomes nationwide. The national obesity rate is 28.3%. Similarly, 30.0% of Pennsylvania adults are obese.

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34. Ohio
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
73.7% (9th lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 58.4% (16th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.8% (20th highest)

Ohio’s diet does not stand out as healthy or unhealthy compared to the populations of all U.S. states. When surveyed about their eating habits, 58.4% of Ohioans reported eating fruit at least once daily, similar to the 61.5% of respondents across America who claimed the same. Students in Ohio also maintain an average diet, with 61.2% of 9th-12th graders consuming fruit at least once per day, similar to the 62.6% of 9th-12th graders nationwide who do. Not surprisingly, Ohio’s health outcomes are representative of the nation as a whole. Ohio’s adult obesity rate of 30.4% is just about 2 percentage points higher than the national obesity rate of 28.3%.

35. Delaware
> Pct. consuming vegetables at least once daily:
71.1% (3rd lowest)
> Pct. consuming fruit at least once daily: 59.6% (18th lowest)
> Obesity rate: 31.1% (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (17th lowest)

Delaware’s population is much worse at eating fruit than vegetables on a daily basis. The state has the third lowest share in the country of adults who report eating vegetables every day, but it ranks better, at 18th, in daily fruit consumption among residents 18 years old and over. The lower rate of vegetable consumption in the state may result in long-term health problems and shorter lifespans for Delaware’s population. Each year, an average of 7,359 years are lost per 100,000 state residents due to premature death, one of the higher level of premature in the country.

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