Teens undergo plenty of change leading up to college, and some learn how to live healthy lifestyles early on. Healthy living is far from easy, but it can impact teenagers' academic performance, mental well-being, and socialization skills. It doesn't take much to develop healthy routines, and it can pay off for busy teens who want to perform well in school.
At Ensō Superfoods, we believe in making healthy living an easier reality. Teenagers are no exception, and we've compiled the national health statistics for adolescents to understand how their health habits vary across the country. To rank each state, we've broken it down by fruit consumption, vegetable consumption, physical activity, TV watching, and soda consumption. Where does your state rank?
- Nebraska has the healthiest teens in the entire country. The state ranks in the top 15 in every health category.
- On the other hand, Arkansas teenagers rank as the least healthy in America and are near the bottom in nearly every category except for physical activity.
- The top five healthiest states–Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, and Colorado–are all Western or Midwestern states.
- Five Southern states, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, rank as the least healthy in America.
Keeping Teens Healthy
Teenagers have a lot on their plate and may not prioritize living a healthy lifestyle. However, considerable research proves why healthy habits lead to more academic success and happier teens. The CDC recognizes the relationship between healthy children and good grades, and students who perform poorly in school are at a higher risk for developing bad habits, like drug use. Teens who develop healthy dietary habits like eating breakfast, fruits, vegetables, and drinking milk are more likely to earn good grades than those who don't.
Healthy habits typically lead to disciplined daily routines, like waking up early, exercising, and sticking to a diet. Teenagers who can learn how to live healthy likely feel better while learning and have dedicated time to study and do homework. Generally, teens who spend less time watching TV and more time engaged in physical activity are healthier. Moreover, physical activity at school is essential to helping young adults learn.
Generally, schools that have strong physical activity programs do a better job of developing students' social and emotional learning. Physical education and fitness teach teamwork, cooperation, and mindfulness. This pays dividends outside of health, and students can learn how to prioritize health & wellness to feel and act their best.
We analyzed various sets of data surrounding teen health, provided by the CDC. We looked at fruit, vegetable, and soda consumption, television watching habits, and physical activity patterns among teens to find out which state has the overall healthiest teens. For states that didn’t have available data in any given data set, we took the overall average of the states that had available data.
- CDC - Adolescents who consume fruit less than 1 time daily
- States with no data available: District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin
- CDC - Percent of students in grades 9-12 who consume vegetables less than 1 time daily
- States with no data available: California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
- CDC - Percent of students in grades 9-12 who achieve 1 hour or more of moderate-and/or vigorous-intensity physical activity daily
- States with no data available: Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming
- CDC - Percent of students in grades 9-12 watching 3 or more hours of television each school day
- Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming
- CDC - Percent of students in grades 9-12 who drank regular soda/pop at least one time per day
- States with no data available: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming