Greater Des Moines ranks as the 25th best metro area in the country for overall well-being of its residents, according to a new report published by Healthways and Gallup.  

The 2013 State of American Well-Being report is based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a measure that Iowa has used since 2011, when Gov. Terry Branstad launched the Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016.  

In February, the Healthiest State Initiative announced that Iowa was ranked 10th healthiest among the states, making it one of just four states to show year-over-year improvement in their well-being scores since 2010.  

According to the new community rankings, three Western cities - Provo-Orem, Utah, Boulder, Colo., and Fort Collins, Colo., led the metro rankings as the three healthiest cities. In addition to Greater Des Moines, four other Midwestern communities ranked in the top 25: Lincoln, Neb. (10); Minneapolis (13); Madison, Wis. (16); and Sioux Falls, S.D. (22).  

More than 178,000 people nationwide were interviewed for the 2013 analysis, which examined Americans' perceptions on topics such as physical and emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, social and community factors, financial security, and access to necessities such as food, shelter and health care. The findings were used to create a composite well-being rank for each state, community and congressional district.

Over the six years of our well-being measurement, Americans' life evaluations have improved, emotional health and healthy behaviors have remained stable, and basic access, physical health and work environment have declined.  

In 2013, Americans' physical health reached its lowest point in the past six years, in large part due to rising rates of obesity, based on self-reported height and weight, the report found. On a related note, Americans overall reported decreases in healthy eating and exercise.