Tennessee Among The Top 10 Unhealthiest States

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The American conscience is increasingly focused on wellness, which begs the question of which states are the most aligned with that vision by following the types of activities that lead to a happy, healthy life.  

Sadly, for the Volunteer State, it appears that that is not the case, as Tennessee ranks as the fifth least healthy state in the United States alongside Kentucky, thanks to its low life expectancy, high obesity and smoking rate, and other metrics.  

BetTennessee.com typically covers Tennessee sports betting news and developments, but we wanted to see what states were the unhealthiest, according to life expectancy, obesity, smoking rate and physical activity. We ranked each state by each factor, then created an overall list based on the average ranks for each state.  

Top 10 Unhealthiest States

Rank 

State 

Average Rank 

West Virginia 

48.5 

Mississippi 

47.5 

Louisiana 

47 

Alabama 

45.25 

T-5 

Kentucky 

45 

T-5 

Tennessee 

45 

Arkansas 

44 

Oklahoma 

43 

Ohio 

40.25 

10 

Indiana 

40 

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Where Tennessee Stands Health Wise

Nationally, Tennessee’s average rank of 45 puts the Volunteer State in a tie with their neighbors from Kentucky as the fifth least healthy state in America, ranking just behind Alabama at 45.25.  

The least healthy states overall were West Virginia, which had an average rank of 48.5, followed by Mississippi (47.5 average rank), Louisiana (47 average rank) and Alabama, speaking to the South’s lack of wellness overall.  

The states that were slightly healthier than Tennessee by our metrics were Arkansas (44 average rank), Oklahoma (43 average rank), Ohio (40.25 average rank) and Indiana (40 average rank), illustrating the tradeoffs that come from living in a blue-collar state.  

As the year progresses, maybe Tennessee residents should hit the many top-notch outdoor spaces in the state such as the Smokies in the east or the trails along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to the west.  

Regardless of what residents do, they should do whatever it takes to improve their sedentary lifestyle, as Tennessee stands as one of America’s least healthy states across the board in 2024. 

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Author

Christopher Boan writes for BetTennessee.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.