Indiana News

Indiana Public Health Ranks Near Bottom of 50 States

12/11/2012

When it comes to public health, Indiana is still lethargic, lagging behind at the bottom 10 on the list of healthy states.

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America's Health Rankings produced by the United Health Foundation puts Indiana at 41st, out of 50 when it comes to health, taking into account smoking, obesity, and other issues. Though the state did poorly, it doesn't necessarily mean that public health is sliding in Indiana.

Eric Wright, director of the Center for Health Policy at IUPUI says surrounding states have made a real effort to combat preventable health problems, and have done so for the last few years, which has made a steady impact on their health rankings. Wright says Indiana has also taken important steps. He said "Implementing a smoking ban this year might actually have results 2-3-4-5 years from now, because many times public health initiatives really have a longterm impact, they don't usually result in shorter changes." 

Wright believes Indiana is seeing some positives. He said, "The best news is really that these rankings and that a lot of public attention is being given to public health concerns and preventive health are actually really good signs."

Wright says Indiana's efforts to combat smoking in public places could make a difference down the road.

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