How happy are you?

Kentucky and Indiana at the bottom of the list for the “happiness factor.”

How happy are you right now? Gallup released a poll last week that once again puts Kentucky and Indiana at the bottom of the list for the “happiness factor.” So what gives? Is it our weather? After days of cold and drizzle, it makes sense. (A weather blog says Louisville has on average 93 sunny days and 171 cloudy ones. Yuck!)

But Gallup makes the case that it’s more likely tied to how healthy we are. The headline reads: “The happiest states are also the healthiest!” Kentucky is listed in the top 10 most obese states. And we know that obesity is tied to a lot of serious health issues, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It’s hard to be happy when you don’t feel good.

There is hope. The Gallup poll says Massachusetts and Vermont cracked the top 10 happiest list for the first time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says their obesity rates are far better than ours. (Body mass index averages in the low 20s versus the mid 30s in Kentucky and Indiana.) So maybe there is no such thing as being “fat and happy.” I don’t know about you, but I like to be happy — and if my health also depends on it, it’s all the more reason to make changes in how we live.


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