As we power into summer, energy levels spike, layers come off and fresh fruit hits the supermarket shelves. It’s the perfect time to recommit ourselves to the habits that keep us healthy. And just what are those habits? Who is the best at sticking to them?
We collaborated with our partners at MapMyFitness to take a look at healthy habits across the United States. We determined that “healthiest” living includes a solid dose of activity paired with a healthful diet. From California to Wyoming, we’ve ranked the United States—and you might be surprised at what we found out.
Together with our in-house dietitians, coaches and data scientists, we crunched numbers on the following:
A Healthful Diet: We looked at MyFitnessPal data in order to determine the number of people in each state who:
- stayed within 10% of their daily calorie goals
- met or exceeded their daily fiber goals
- stayed at or below their daily sugar goals
- stayed at or below their daily sodium goals
An Active Lifestyle: We looked at MapMyFitness data to determine the length, frequency and type of exercise logged in each state.
And who came out on top? Take a look for yourself at the rankings:
We put together a heat map of the United States so you can explore the data yourself. Use the buttons on the top left to switch among the overall healthy habits index, diet and activity. Hover over each state to get more information.
We teased out a few quirky details from the data:
We noticed the states most likely to stick to their calorie goals were also, statistically, some of the most obese. 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.
The West Moves The Most
Seven of our top 10 most active states were Western states.
Altogether, we looked at six elements to determine our healthy habit index, including four dietary elements (calories, sodium, fiber and sugar) and two workout elements (number of workouts and workout length).
Four dietary elements are weighed equally to determine the diet index: percentage of people who were within 10 percent of their daily calorie goals, percentage of people who were at or under their sodium limits, percentage of people who were at or under their sugar limits, and percentage of people who were at or over their fiber goals.
Activity rankings are based on average minutes spent working out per week per user.
These three elements were combined equally to create an overall healthy habit ranking.