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New Report Ranks U.S. Health by County: Where do Wake and Franklin Counties rank?

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New Report Ranks U.S. Health by County. Where Do You Live?

Courtesy TIME/CNN   3/30/2011
By MEREDITH MELNICK Wednesday, March 30, 2011
 
A comprehensive survey of overall health county-by-county in the U.S. confirms a few things we already know to be true:
being poor is bad for your health. So is having low education, not having a job and having less access to grocery stores
and farmer's markets for fresh food. The County Health Rankings report, available online, ranks the health of more than 3,000 counties based on a wide
variety of social, physical and environmental measures including but not limited to: adult smoking and obesity,premature death, numbers of uninsured, violent crime, car accident deaths, single parenthood, mammography screening
rate, sexually transmitted disease, air pollution, numbers of low-birthweight babies born, income and education. (More on Time.com: America's 15 Most Active Cities)
 
The researchers found that compared to healthy counties, the unhealthiest counties in the country had a few things in
common:
• significantly lower high school graduation rates
• more than twice as many children living below the poverty line
• fewer grocery stores and farmer's markets (which means more reliance on high-fat, high-calorie convenience food)
• high rates of unemployment
 
"It's hard to lead a healthy life if you don't live in a healthy community," Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which collaborated with the University of Wisconsin's Population Health
Institute on the report, said in a statement. "We hope that policymakers, businesses, educators, public health
departments and community residents will use the Rankings to develop solutions to help people live healthier lives."
The report's media release highlights the actions of one outstanding local government in low-ranking Wyandotte County,
Kansas, which launched a Healthy Communities initiative. But more counties need to get on board. To help, the RWJF is
giving out 14 grants to local governments that would like to set up health improvement programs. (More on
Time.com: How Stress and Sleep Conspire to Make You Fat)
In the meantime, people can do a lot to improve their own health and minimize the influence of unhealthy factors in the
environment. Quit smoking, practice safe sex and dedicate some time for going on a walk each day. For more tips or to
look up your county's rank, see the comprehensive project here.
Related Links:
Study: Many Obese People Think They Look Great the Way They Are
Explaining the Gender Gap: Obesity Costs Women a Lot More Than Men
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