March 26, 2013 at 3:35 PM ET
The connection between diet, a sedentary lifestyle and whether or not you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is pretty clear. Just look at the states where a woman is most likely to be diabetic as proof. Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of diabetic women, also has the most overweight and obese women and comes in second-to-last when it comes to healthy eating habits. It also has the worst rate of women with high blood pressure and cholesterol—both risk factors for diabetes. And the disease does more than wreak havoc on your blood sugar. It also increases your risk of heart disease, kidney damage and blindness.
Of the five states that have the lowest rates of diabetes in women, two of them (Vermont and New Hampshire) rank in the top five for healthy eating habits. And another two (Colorado and Utah) rank in the top five for lowest obesity rates.
Here are the state rankings for diabetes: #1 has the lowest rate of type 2 diabetes; #50 needs to learn more about diabetes prevention. The numbers below represent the percentage of women who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.