Green Mountain State Is in the Pink
Preventive medicine helps Vt. wrest 'healthiest state' crown from Minn.
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2007 4:03 PM CST
The colors of fall are seen on trees that frame the First Congregational Church in South Woodbury, Vt., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Vermont is the nation's healthiest state, beating out Minnesota, which has topped the list for the past 4 years. The ranking system takes into 20 factors, such as infant mortality, obesity, and even high school graduation rates, USA Today reports. Mississippi was ranked the country's unhealthiest state, one notch below last year, in the annual figures released today.

Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Connecticute finished third, fourth, and fifth; Louisiana vaulted one place to 49th. Vermont's public health commissioner attributes her state's good showing to the "full system" strategy that enlists many different groups—such as legislators who voted to ban smoking in bars and restaurants—in the quest to improve public health.