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Missouri, Kansas Don’t Fare Well in U.S. Health Rankings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This is another border war between Kansas and Missouri - but this is a war with no winners. According to national health rankings, neither state is doing particularly well - with Missouri near the bottom in terms of health.

Kansas is ranked 24th in the nation in the United Health Foundation's national health rankings, while Missouri is closer to the bottom at number 42. The reasons for the rankings are the usual reasons: smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet.

But experts say that there are some steps you can take to improve your overall health. The first thing - stop smoking.

"If you smoke cigarettes, number one that is the most important thing you can do for your health is stop smoking right away," said Karin Morgan of the Ward Woman's Heart Health Center. Morgan says that the next most important thing is to start eating smaller portions.

For example, try limiting meat to a portion the size of a playing card, and items like pasta, potatoes and rice to a serving the size of a computer mouse. A portion of fruit should be the size of a baseball and veggies the size of a light bulb.

Morgan says that it's just a different way to jog your memory and help your heart. It can also add years to your life.

"This is nothing new, people know this stuff, it's just doing it, taking it to heart and doing it," said Morgan. "So we try to encourage people to make one change at a time."

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