Vermont is the best state in America


Students eat lunch at Sharon Elementary School in Sharon, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

A lifetime of good health starts in childhood. Health insurance, access to health care and regular exercise make for fit kids with long life expectancies. And nowhere in America are kids healthier than in Vermont.

Across a range of metrics, the Green Mountain State excels, according to the latest data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fewer than one in four Vermont children are overweight or obese. More than 81 percent have access to medical and dental care . Nearly 99 percent have health insurance. And one-third of all Vermont children report exercising at least 20 minutes a day.

Vermont’s relatively small and prosperous population makes it easier than in some other states for officials to reach out to potentially vulnerable children, said Cathy Hess, managing director for coverage and access at the National Academy for State Health Policy. What’s more, Vermont has been a pioneer in children’s health reform.

Read more about how the state has led the way on children’s health.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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