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Maple Syrup for Everyone! Vermont Ranks #1 in Health.

Organic_productBy Kim Stagliano

Well, pass me a mug of Green Mountain coffee and let's share a pint of Cherry Garcia for breakfast - with maple syrup! Vermont is the nation's healthiest state according to America's Health Rankings. 

That's kind of like being the prettiest girl at the ugly contest. Overall, the report says that America is an unhealthy nation. We're fat. We smoke. We lag behind 27 other industrialized nations in life expectancy. We're behind 21 industrialized nations in infant mortality. 

The study did point out that Vermont has one worry. You see, Vermont has a "low immunization rate for children ages 19 to 35 months."  Give them another pint of Chunky Monkey for that one. 

We pay more for healthcare than any other nation. Yet tens of millions of Americans are uninsured. Companies are staggering under healthcare costs for employees and retirees. Many smaller companies can't afford to offer healthcare at all.  Find me a doctor or a patient who is satisfied with the state of our healthcare insurance system.

We in the autism world know the vagaries of health insurance all too well. How much time and energy do you spend trying to get reimbursements for your child's therapies and medical treatment?  Is "Out of Pocket" a filthy phrase in your household?

Then there's a problem of portability, because healthcare is connected to your job. In this economy, many people are losing their livelihood. Like my husband, who lost his job last month (pass me a gallon of Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream please.) I'm sure there are many A of A readers in a similar leaky boat. COBRA will cost us $1500 a month.  That whole not having a job thing makes a COBRA payment (which costs far more than my parent's mortgage payment ever did) next to impossible.

We looked into private health insurance - just a catastrophic plan to tide us over. Unlike group insurance, individual insurance is underwritten. Golden Rule insurance wouldn't accept our girls because they have an autism diagnosis.  Ah the irony! Do you think they pay out for any autism related treatment?  Aetna would charge a 90% surcharge if they accepted the girls at all after reviewing their medical records.  Which brought us right back to $1500 a month.

I'll bet the hearty Yankees in Vermont don't run to the doctor for every sniffle and sneeze.  Maybe they follow the "apple a day" rule. Whatever they're doing (or not doing in the case of immunization rates) it seems to be working.

Read more and watch Matt Lauer and that doctor from NBC discuss the rankings HERE.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.


MJ  Barger

other than sudden death complications from Vaccination I wouldnt see any correlation. I would like to see vaccination rates from the last 20 years and how those changes correlate to current statistics of the states ranking.


Does anyone have the link to the study? I would like to email it to our representatives. Educate...educate...educate.
Sooner or later...(later)...the truth will set us free!

Kathy Blanco

Maple syrup contains muccopolysaccharides, and glycoproteins,which help the immune system function, or cellular communication is better. This helps the body identify forigne pathogens, bacteria, viruses, toxins better. We love buying the "natural stuff" because frankly, it helps our kids immune systems. The same stuff is found in aloe plants, african roots, ferns, etc.

Independent people's mindsets often question vaccines. Maybe we should move there, I would fit right in...


"A home birth rate twice the national average (less Hep B birth doses?)"

Wow, so not only do they have low immunization rates, they have high homebirth rates and they are STILL healthy? Oh, but I thought homebirth was so dangerous and babies were dying left and right because of it (rolls eyes). Yeah, that's another parenting choice that mainstream medicine likes to criticize like it's tantamount to child abuse right along with not vaxing on schedule (homebirth). I had a doctor's wife tell me once that she felt sorry for my children because they weren't born in hospitals with "real doctors", that I was selfish for putting my desires for an "earth mother experience" over the health of my babies, blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

Too bad I didn't get the vaxing thing until it was too late.


Yep, Vermont has a high homebirth rate.

Although my ASD daughter was born at home and didn't get the birth dose of Hep B (shrug). I did pretty much vax her on schedule, though.

Seriously, I could have been Amanda Peet a few years ago, "I had natural births, I eat organic, I breastfeed, but when it comes to vaccines, I don't worry".

Well, maybe I SHOULD have worried. Darn it, I thought I could have the best of both worlds by doing "natural things" but vaccinating on schedule. I guess not.


I went to elementary school in VT, and my father who adopted 6 children still lives there. Vermont is a state where they take pride in doing things the oldfashioned way, the natural way. There are lots of farms, people who still work them, not much money but educated well. The state just bought my father a van for my 22 yr old wheelchair bound adopted sister with CP. They are the only state smart enough to vote for independant candidates regularly. Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy who fight for the little peopel every time. They are smart, do their homework and thrive on keeping their individual rights.


There are some confounders:
Vermont has, I think, a high breastfeeding rate.
A home birth rate twice the national average (less Hep B birth doses?)
Probably more people into alternative medicine and healthy foods and outdoor exercise
Less pollution
Not as many minorities (rates of low-birth weight babies differ by race)

So I don't think it is all due to low vaccination rates...

dan olmsted

How come all the anecdotal evidence seems to point in one direction? Coincidences, damn coincidences! (CDC)


Snyderman is clueless. She and all the other doctors were basically called failures. Snyderman took the easy way out and blamed it on smoking and obesity. I blame is on vaccines, amalgam fillings, MSG in food (makes you fat), bisphenol A and DOCTORS prescriptions. But, Snyderman couldn't say that because, she doesn't want to disturb the advertisers.


Low immunization rates = healthiest.

Pass the pint of Chubby Hubby!


I see so many bumper stickers that read "my child is an honor student at XYZ Academy."

Mine will read: "My daughter is a pre-existing condition."


I am almost certain that should actually be:

􀂉 Porphyrin biomarkers


􀂉 Pophyrin biomarkers


Maybe things will improve for every family with insurance now that "the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG), an AMA-recognized board, issued clinical practice guidelines that clinical geneticists should follow in determining the etiology for those with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and in treating patients with this diagnosis."

SILVER SPRING, MD 20905-5726
For Immediate Release CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K. Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426]
December 05, 2008 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. King (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-263-4843]
WASHINGTON, DC – In April of 2008, the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG), an AMA-recognized board, issued clinical practice guidelines that clinical geneticists should follow in determining the etiology for those with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and in treating patients with this diagnosis. This study, “Autism spectrum disorder-associated biomarkers for case evaluation and management by clinical geneticists” in Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics,1 confirms that there are now well-established, routine, clinically available, identified biomarkers to help clinical geneticists medically evaluate and treat individuals diagnosed with an ASD and briefly outlines some recognized biomarkers. Depending on the cause of the ASD, these researchers have found that “associated medical risks may be identified, which may lead to screening and potential morbidity prevention in patients and other family members.” The non-profit CoMeD, Inc., and, through a grant from the Brenen Hornstein Autism Research & Education (BHARE) Foundation, the non-profit Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc. funded this research study.
The important clinical tools identified for medical evaluation and treatment response monitoring included:
􀂉 Pophyrin biomarkers – to help determine if mercury toxicity is present, and, when it is found, to monitor changes in mercury-burden during detoxification therapies.
􀂉 Trans-Sulfuration biomarkers – to help determine if mercury biochemical susceptibility is present and, when it is found, to monitor patient response during supplementation with nutritional therapies such as methylcobalamin (the methyl form of vitamin B12), folinic acid, and pyroxidine (vitamin B6).
􀂉 Oxidative Stress/Inflammation biomarkers – to help determine if there are excessive by-products of metabolic pathways, and, when they are found, to monitor patient progress during supplementation with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aldactone® (spironolactone).
􀂉 Hormonal biomarkers – to help determine if hormonal abnormalities are present and, when they are found, to monitor patient progress during the indicated treatment with hormonal regulation drugs such as Lupron® (leuprolide acetate) and Yaz® (drospirenone/ethynyl estradiol).
􀂉 Mitochondrial Dysfunction biomarkers – to help determine if there are disruptions in the energy production pathways, and, when they are found, to monitor patient progress during supplementation with drugs such as Carnitor® (L-carnitine).
􀂉 Genetic biomarkers – to help determine if there are genetic causal or susceptibility factors present, and, when they are found, to provide insights into behavior modification to help reduce the impact of such genetic factors.
Today, any parent, physician, or healthcare provider can easily engage the services of a clinical geneticist who is following the ACMG practice guidelines to help evaluate and treat those diagnosed with an ASD by contacting ASD Clinics, LLC, a national outreach clinic helping to provide clinical genetic services through the Genetic Centers of America. For information about scheduling a consultation, please call (301) 989-0548.
Current Consultation Center Locations:
West Coast - Genetic Consultants of Washington State (Seattle, WA)
Central – Genetic Consultants of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN)
East Coast – Genetic Consultants of Maryland (Washington, DC)
Your generous tax-free donations will help us to fund additional research, similar to the present study, to examine the biomedical basis and treatments for patients diagnosed with an ASD.
To support the ongoing efforts of CoMeD, Inc. with your tax-deductible contributions, please use the PayPal link on CoMeD’s Internet website, CoMeD, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that is actively engaged in legal, educational and scientific efforts to stop all use of mercury in medicine, and to ban the use of all mercury-containing medicines.
1 Geier Da, Geier MR. Expert. Rev. Mol. Diagn. 2008; 8(6): 671-674.


Low immunization rate and yet they are the healthiest. NJ has the highest rate of immunization and is one of the most unhealthy.(If not the most unhealthy.) Gov. Corzine are you listening?


Kim -
Thanks for this post. As a result of my daughter's past treatments at the DAN!, we are in a very precarious position with our health insurance company. We are scrutinized up, down and sideways and have been instructed to no longer send our out of network claims to the regular address, but rather fax them to a "lovely" woman within the executive branch of UHC. (My husband and I are both teachers, so in theory, we have really good insurance.)

Now it's MY turn for a little hospital visit and I am, of course, using an out of network surgeon. (He's better, IMO.) I have been run around like crazy for the last two weeks and am just praying they do what they say they'd do and I don't end up with a $20,000 bill. It's insane that as we deal with our health issues, we have to fight for coverage that's been paid into for years and year.

Please send mallomars. Too cold for ice cream.

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