According to a new report published by 24/7 Wall Street, the state with the healthiest eating habits is…California. Mississippi residents, on the other hand, have the worst eating habits in the nation.

24/7 Wall Street constructed an index based upon five behavioral factors: the percentage of adults who report consuming fruit less than once daily, the percentage of adults who report consuming vegetables less than once daily, the proportion of high school students who report less than daily fruit and vegetable consumption, and the percentage of high school students consuming soda at least once per day.

Here are some of the stats that stood out:

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  1. Only half of Mississippians eat fruit at least once per day and only about two-thirds consume vegetables at least once per day. Nearly 70% of Californians eat fruit at least once per day and 82.7% of Californians eat vegetables at least once per day. Oregonians report consuming the highest percentage of vegetables at least once per day.
  2. The statistics also illustrate the correlation between poverty and diet. Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation as well as the highest obesity rate.
  3. The contrast by region is also apparent with states in the South predominantly making up the lower quarter of the list. Northern and Western states primarily rank in the top quarter of the list.
  4. Despite having the healthiest eating habits, nearly one quarter of Californians are obese. Although, the percentage of Californians is still lower than in Mississippi where more than 35% of residents are obese. Residents of Colorado can actually boast the lowest obesity rate in the nation at 21.3%.

Honestly, the criteria selected for the survey set a very low bar for Americans to meet. By and large, most Americans at the very least understand that their eating habits play a critical role in their overall health. Most Americans also know that vegetables and fruits are good for you while soda is not. So, it’s disappointing to know that so many Americans are finding a way to consume soda on a daily basis, but are not finding a way to consume at least one serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Whether it comes down to economics, knowledge or social conditioning, we need to find a way for all Americans to at least consume one serving of fruits and vegetables each day. It would at least be a small step in the right direction.

To find out how your state stacks up, jump over to the 24/7 Wall Street article “States With The Best and Worst Diets“.

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