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Vermont, Hawaii Tops in Healthy Behaviors

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Residents of Vermont and Hawaii were most likely to practice healthy behaviors such as exercising, eating a wholesome diet, and not smoking during the first six months of 2009, while those in Kentucky and Arkansas had the worse scores, according to national survey results released Monday.

The findings from the AHIP State and Congressional District Resource for Well-Being, a product of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, show a drop for the nation as a whole on the Healthy Behavior Sub-Index, from 63.7 in 2008 to 62.6 in the first half of 2009.

The latest data show that Western, Mountain, and Northeastern states, as well as Florida, had the best scores, while Southern and Midwestern states were at the bottom of the index.

Along with achieving the highest score overall, Vermont residents were the most likely to report frequent exercise and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Ohio residents were least likely to report frequent exercise. Arkansas had the lowest healthful diet score while North Dakota did worse in weekly consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Utah residents were least likely to say they smoked, while people in Kentucky and West Virginia were most likely to say they smoked.

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