Alabama ranks low in study on nutrition and well-being
Alabama has ranked 48th on the Nutritional Well-Being Index, a study that examined the correlation between diet and quality of life.
The 2023 Nutritional Well-Being Index determined the rankings of each state based on four core pillars:
· Mental Health
· Physical Health
· Social Connections and Lifestyle
Nadzeya Sankovich, vice president of communications at Health Reporter, said that these factors are important to observe because wellness extends beyond from what we eat.
“The Nutrition and Well-Being Index is digging into the details of our daily life to figure out how our surroundings impacts our nutritional choices. It’s not just about what's on our plate, it's about everything around us,” said Sankovich.
Some factors that led to Alabama’s low ranking include:
· A high number of fast-food restaurants
· High levels of alcohol consumption
· Low intake of fruit and vegetables
· Elevated smoking consumption.
Despite these negative factors, Sankovich revealed that the Yellow Hammer state reports lower levels of stress.
“But on the bright side, I can mention that Alabama has a lot of leisure and sports enthusiasts around 31%.The stress levels are on the lower side too. So there is work to be done, but there are some positive parts as well,” said Sankovich.
According to Health Reporter, the states that ranked this highest in the Nutritional Well-Being Index had government-initiatives that focused on nutrition, lower numbers of fast-food outlets, consumed less alcohol and implemented more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Sankovich believes that Alabama could benefit from having better access to healthier foods, programs implemented to lower alcohol and tobacco consumption and campaigns that encourage physical activity.
“Local governments need to collaborate with schools, workplaces and community organizations to integrate nutrition and wellbeing considerations into broader public policies. They can be related to urban planning, education, and health care,” said Sankovich.
The 2023 Nutritional Well-Being Index was conducted by Health Reporter. To read more about the Nutritional Well-Being Study and to view the rankings of each state, visit the Health Reporter website.