New county rankings show where we live matters to our health

2017 Health Outcomes - IdahoWe’ve all heard, “You are what you eat,” and the premise behind that saying is our health is significantly influenced by the choices we make, including diet and exercise.

But increasingly, research shows that the economic, social and environmental conditions in the communities where we live, work and play also factor into our ability to make healthy choices and live healthy lifestyles.

In general, living in Idaho provides the environments and opportunities for those healthy choices and lifestyles, from easy access to recreation for exercise, safe communities, family and social support systems and access to clinical care.

That’s according to the 2017 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (CHRR), which were published today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The annual county-by-county report analyzes multiple databases to evaluate overall health and well-being at the community level. It then ranks individual counties based on a calculation of overall health outcomes based on life expectancy and overall quality of life.

So how do Idaho counties compare to other Idaho counties in this latest survey? Continue reading “New county rankings show where we live matters to our health”

Idaho’s obesity rates improve slightly

Idaho adults may not be able to tighten their belts a full notch, but they are moving their waistline measurements in the right direction, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For 2015, 28.6 percent of Idaho adults reported they were obese, which is down slightly from 28.9 percent in 2014. This ranks Idaho with the 19th lowest rate of adult obesity in the nation, and makes the state one of 25 that saw an improvement in 2015.

“We are very happy to see Idaho adults reversing the decades-long increase in obesity in our state, which tripled over the last 25 years,” said Ivie Smart, program manager for Physical Health and Nutrition in the Department of Health and Welfare. “Obesity increases our risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, and results in overall lower quality of life. Eating healthy and being active can reverse that, which an increasing number of Idahoans are embracing.”

Idaho’s obesity rate in 1990 was 9.3 percent, and steadily increased to a peak of 29.6 percent in 2013.  Continue reading “Idaho’s obesity rates improve slightly”