© Provided by EatingWell Getty Images / Janoj / RTimages
Here at EatingWell, it's probably no surprise that we love healthy food. One of the best things about a nutritious, balanced eating pattern is that it can look different for everyone, while still yielding a healthy result. That said, it can still be a struggle for some. Eating healthy is, unfortunately, not as simple as personal choices or motivation. There are several factors that influence one's ability to eat healthy, such as environment, resources, skills, knowledge and preferences.
How people think about their health and the health of their peers can play a role in food choices, too. A recent survey conducted by Gurney's Seed & Nursery Company took a deep dive into how healthy people across America thought they (and their neighbors) were. They surveyed over 3,000 Americans across all 50 states to see how they perceived the healthy eating in their state. They first asked people to rate their own diet from 1 to 5, 1 being "very unhealthy" to 5 being "very healthy." They then asked people to rate their in-state peers' diets from 1 to 5 based on the same criteria. They added these scores together for a new rating, from 2 to 10, and averaged all responses for each state's "healthy-eating score."
Obviously, since this survey is based on perception, it might not be totally scientifically accurate when it comes to how "healthy" a state's diet is compared to another. But it was an interesting way to quantify how healthy people feel like their state is and how they feel like they fare compared to others around them. It's also important to note that this survey ran in the last two weeks of December, around the holidays, which might have influenced people's responses. Let's see what they found.
Related: The Most Popular Vegetable in Every State
There are the 10 states with the highest healthy-eating scores. This means that residents here felt like they followed a healthy eating pattern, and that their neighbors did, too (for the most part). It's important to note that the highest ranking state, Colorado, only scored a 6.86 out of 10. This could be a reflection that even residents here think there's some room for improvement.
Video: Health Perks of Being a Minimal Meat Eater (Veuer)
Health Perks of Being a Minimal Meat Eater
What to watch next
Massive Sinkhole More Than 80 Feet Wide and Hundreds of Feet Deep Mysteriously Opens in Chile
Check Out These Electronic Tattoo Heart Rate Monitors
Man Is Caught by His Brother After Falling From a Balcony
43% of Parents Won't Get Their Kids Vaccinated
Daughter of Capitol Rioter Who Got 7 Years Behind Bars Says ‘Trump Deserves Life in Prison’
Autonomous Cabs Now Roaming Shenzhen’s High-Tech Streets
June 29th Was the Shortest Day in History Due to a ‘Wobble’ in Earth’s Spin
How to Beat Inflation During Vacation
Expert Healthy Tips That Will Improve Your Wellness Without Feeling Lousy After
Manafort Writes That Trump Actually Apologized to Ted Cruz After Calling His Wife ‘Ugly’
Foods Have Been Getting Sweeter and Sweeter Every Year All Over the World
Six-Year Old Skateboarder Has Crazy off Ramp Skills
Deadly Bacteria Usually Only Found in the Tropics Might Be Growing in Mississippi Soil
Frog And Snake Species Cost World Economy $16 Billion!
How’s the SCOTUS Leak Investigation Going? AOC Slams Justice Alito Over Roe v. Wade Speech
Spanish Prosecutor Asks for 8 Year Jail Term for Pop Star Shakira
All of the states on this list were within 0.80 points for their healthy eating score, and Massachusetts and Oregon tied for the fourth place rank.
People in these states perceived themselves and their neighbors to have the least healthy eating patterns in the U.S. This was not based on any physiological measures, and it does not mean you have an "unhealthy" diet if you live in these places. All of these states scored between 5 and 6 points, meaning they ranked themselves to be in the middle of the healthy eating score range.
All of these states were within 0.5 points for their healthy eating score, and Arkansas and West Virginia tied for third least-healthy state. It is also important to note that the perceived least-healthy state on this list (Oklahoma) was only 1.84 points behind the healthiest state on the list (Colorado). This means responses only differed by around one to two points between states.
This survey found some other interesting things about Americans' eating habits as well. Broccoli was the most popular vegetable, being called a favorite by 24.5% of respondents. Strawberries were deemed the most popular fruit, reported by 18.7% of respondents. Over 80% of people said they include vegetables in their diet because they actually like them, and not just because they're healthy. Music to our ears!
The report also found that 79% of people plan on eating healthier this year than last, which could explain why scores were all in the middle of the healthy eating score range. People also find it most challenging to eat healthy when they are out with friends. For more information on the full report, check out Gurney's website .
Especially with how health-focused Americans have become recently, it makes sense that no one rated their diet (or their state's diet) as being perfectly healthy, or a 10 out of 10. But it is eye-opening to see what state's residents thought about the eating habits where they live. This survey did not take any physiological measures or food frequency questionnaires, so it shouldn't be seen as a report on actual eating habits or physical health statuses. But it did provide insights into how Americans think about food, eating and where they live.
Read the original article on EatingWell
Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.