Where you live can affect how healthy you are.
A new comprehensive study by The County Health Rankings ranks the health of counties throughout the U.S. CNN reports that over 3,000 counties across the country were measured by such things as obesity levels, smoking, crime, STIs, air pollution, and education. The study saw significant unhealthy patterns in areas that had low high school graduation rates, and less access to healthy foods.
If, for instance, families live in a community with no access to grocery stores or farmer’s markets, they have to rely on what’s around. That usually means a trip to a fast food chain for high-calorie, high-fat meals.
Unemployment also has impact on a community’s overall health. Convenience foods are typically less expensive than eating fresh, locally grown produce.
One community that stood out for their low-ranking was Wyandotte County, Kansas, which hosts a Healthy Communities initiative encouraging residents to stay active.
County rankings can be seen here.