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THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS

* WINNER: Utah for growing so fast. And so sensibly. New reports this week show the state added an estimated 50,000 new residents in the year that ended last July 1. This 2.7 percent annual growth rate is the most robust in 12 years. More than half the new residents settled in non-metropolitan areas - a trend that curbs growing congestion along the Wasatch Front while building the economies of rural areas.

* WINNERS: Americans - for becoming more healthy. Halfway through a national campaign to improve physical fitness by the turn of the century, federal officials reported this week that Americans are smoking less, driving more safely and avoiding fatty foods.LOSERS: The many Americans who aren't going along with the trend to better health. Despite the other gains, there are still too many couch potatoes, pregnant teenagers and homicides. And there has been no proportional change in the number of folks who never exercise.

* WINNERS: Women - for becoming an increasingly important part of the American economy. New figures show that women now own 7.7 million businesses in the United States - 30 percent of the total. While other firms were downsizing, women-owned businesses added 4.5 million jobs from 1990 to 1994. Women-owned businesses employ 15.5 million people - a third more than the Fortune 500 firms employ worldwide. Moreover, women-owned firms are more likely to have remained in business over the past three years than the average U.S. firm.

LOSERS: The many teenagers who have gone from sniffing glue to inhaling gasoline, paint thinner, lighter fluid and air fresheners. A new federal study reports that such inhalant abuse caused some 1,000 deaths last year. One in five school-age youngsters across the country say they have tried inhalants at least once in their lives.

The warning signs of possible inhalant abuse? Rashes or sores around the nose and mouth. Changes in behavior. Odors of solvents on the body. Dilated pupils. Redness of the eyes. Unusual salivation.