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The Most (and Least) Healthy States: A Survey of All 50

Progress in a society can be measured by steady improvement in health outcomes. The United States has improved in some health areas over the years, yet is facing serious challenges in others, according to the latest report from the United Health Foundation. The report’s findings also show health outcomes differ widely across states, and the likelihood of living a healthy life largely depends on where you live.

To provide a more complete picture of where the country is succeeding and where it is failing, the United Health Foundation’s 2017 America’s Health Rankings report examined both determinants and health outcomes. The UHF included for each state such measures as healthy behaviors, quality of health care, health policy, the incidence of diseases, and preventable deaths.

Due to policy and awareness, the nationwide smoking rate fell from 29.5% in 1990 to 17.1% last year, while immunization rates for children and adolescents have increased. However, obesity and drug-related fatalities have risen dramatically over that time. Approximately 30% of the U.S. adult population is obese, up considerably from 11.6% in 1990.

There has also been a 7% increase in drug deaths over the last five years, one of most troubling trends identified in the report. Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. There were a record high 64,068 drug overdose deaths in 2016, up from last year’s toll of 47,000. This has likely contributed to the recent rise in premature deaths nationwide. After falling steadily for decades, the premature death rate rose for the third consecutive year.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Rhonda Randall, senior medical advisor to the UHF, said that a variety of complex factors can explain poor health and the resulting untimely deaths in a given state. “No one of these measures alone really tells you the health of a state,” Randall said. Likewise, states typically do well in some health measures and poorly in others. “Every state has areas that have opportunities for improvement.”

Click here to see the most (and least) healthy states.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Commercial Refrigeration Vs Residential Units: What’s the Difference?

At a given time, your home refrigerator probably holds enough food to feed you and your family for about a week. A restaurant refrigerator, on the other hand, has to be stocked every day with enough food to keep a dining room full of paid customers happy, with surplus stock just in case. That’s why restaurant kitchens need commercial refrigeration units rather than standard residential fridge models.

But what’s the difference between the two? Aside from the sheer volume of food that has to be stored inside, commercial refrigerators have several advantages that help them meet the high performance expectations in a restaurant setting. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, when your fridge breaks down, you want to hire the right person to fix it-and for a commercial model, you’ll need a repair technician with the training, licensing, and specialized experience to get the job done right.

Size and Layout

It may seem obvious, but commercial fridges must be significantly larger than residential models, which are usually designed to be as sleek and unobtrusive as possible in a home kitchen. Additionally, while residential fridge models often feature an array of shelves and drawers to separate food, commercial models tend to be utilitarian inside: two to four shelves designed for easy food access and stacking. A home unit might have an attached freezer, ice maker, and water dispenser, while in commercial kitchens, those are often separate appliances.

Cooling Power

Commercial refrigeration systems are much more powerful than standard models. This is in part because they’re larger and must cool more food at once. Additionally, in a restaurant setting, there are health department codes related to the temperature at which food must be stored. A commercial fridge must keep food at a consistent temperature so that all food that goes out of the kitchen is safe for customers to eat. Note that residential fridge models are often more energy-efficient than commercial units; in order to produce consistent cooling in a large space, a commercial fridge must run constantly.

Aesthetics

Residential fridges can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can choose a colored exterior, a plastic finish, or a shiny metal surface, depending on your kitchen decor. With commercial refrigerators, however, aesthetics aren’t really a consideration. Most commercial units have a stainless steel exterior for ease of cleaning. There are fewer size and shape options, as well, because in a commercial kitchen, form matters less than function.

Repair Considerations

Because of these differences between residential and commercial refrigerators, not all refrigerator repair technicians will take both house and business calls. In general, it’s always a good idea to ensure that the appliance repair professional you hire has experience or training to work on your specific unit, and this is even more vital in a commercial setting. Delayed or improper refrigerator repairs in a restaurant kitchen can shut down the business or make patrons ill, resulting in a loss of income and possible fines from the health department. If you have a commercial refrigeration unit that’s not pulling its weight, don’t trust your appliance’s health to a technician who’s under-qualified. Call someone with experience in commercial appliance repair.