Smug Californians now have proof they’re better than you.
A couple of the most popular fitness apps in the App Store have pooled their data to figure out which U.S. states have the best (and worst) health habits. They examined a combination of workout and nutritional info among their users and concluded that the Golden State has the best habits, and Wyoming has a lot of work to do.
MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness use GPS and food info to track exercise and diet, and they’ve collected their findings in a blog post featuring a series of infographics. According to them, the 10 healthiest states in the country (in order) are:
• New Mexico
And the least healthy places in the country are:
• North Dakota
• South Dakota
• Washington, D.C.
• South Carolina
• West Virginia
• Rhode Island
Wyoming’s also at the bottom of the list when it comes to diet, but the District of Columbia is the big loser for the activity portion. Meanwhile, New Jersey has the best eating habits in the country, and California is the most active.
The metrics involved included adherence to daily calorie goals; meeting or exceeding fiber goals; limiting intake of both sugar and sodium; and length, frequency, and type of exercise.
“We noticed the states most likely to stick to their calorie goals were also, statistically, some of the most obese,” the blog post says. “For example, West Virginia, which is ranked number one in sticking to calorie goals, is also ranked as the most obese state, according to the Better Policies for Healthier America. Why is this? We can only speculate, but perhaps those populations are more motivated to stick to their goals once they’ve committed to tracking on MyFitnessPal.”
Note that according to the September 2014 report from Better Policies for a Healthier America, Mississippi and West Virginia tied for the highest adult obesity rate (35.1 percent). But that’s still a weird finding. We don’t know how many people in West Virginia use MapMyFitness to track their info, but we can probably assume it’s low given the Better Policies findings. Or maybe their calorie goals are just way higher than the national average.
It would be interesting to compare these results to usage by state to see if the most fit states are also the ones where these apps are the most popular (i.e. which states are the most “fitness-minded.”) I’m thinking we might notice a correlation there.