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Report: Kentucky ranks low in terms of health

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A report by the United Health Foundation finds Kentucky ranks last among the 50 states in both exercise and fruit and vegetable consumption. The state also ranks among the worst in terms of residents with sleeping issues, multiple chronic conditions and premature death rate.

Overall, Kentucky ranked 44th in America’s Health Rankings 2020 Annual Report. The foundation states the report is the longest-running annual review of the country’s health on a state-by-state basis.

The study found that only 4.7% of Kentuckians consume two or more fruits and three or more vegetables daily. The U.S. average was 8%, with Vermont leading the way with 14.1% of its residents meeting the metric.

For exercise, only 15.3% – or 1 in about 6.5 Kentuckians – get either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.

The annual report found that 15.1 % of Kentuckians have more than one chronic condition, compared to 9.5% of the country. Only West Virginia at 20% was higher. In addition, 41.1% of the state’s residents reported sleeping less than seven hours a day.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Kentucky lost more than 10,000 years of potential life. That’s based on people dying before age 75 per 100,000 people. Only Alabama, Mississippi, and West Virginia lost more years.