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Public Health Report Shows NC As Most Improved State

2015 rankings

North Carolina showed the most improvement of any state in a major public health report released Thursday. But its ranking is still below average, like most of the South.

North Carolina jumped six spots in America's Health Rankings, one of the longest running and most comprehensive state-by-state breakdowns of public health.

The United Health Foundation puts the report together, relying significantly on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Foundation Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Rhonda Randall explains North Carolina's improvement.

"The state's uptick was due largely to a decline in sedentary behavior," she says. "The number of people who say they get no physical activity in a day decreased significantly in North Carolina from last year to this year. We also saw a reduced incidence of infections, particularly salmonella."

The state is now ranked 31st in the country. That's actually one of the higher rankings in the South, where obesity, smoking, and poverty tend to be bigger problems. South Carolina ranked 42nd overall.