County Data Links Obesity to Rate of Chronic Disease
Stanislaus County last year ranked 56th out of California's 58 counties for coronary heart disease and 46th for diabetes, according to a report by the county health director, the Modesto Bee reports.
Health Director John Walker in his annual report cited an increase in the rate of immunization among children and improvements in combating gonorrhea, whooping cough and West Nile disease outbreaks. However, the report also estimates that 60% of county adults and 32% of fifth-grade children are obese.
Walker on Tuesday told the county Board of Supervisors that the findings were "alarming." He added, "There needs to be fundamental change."
The county public health division is working to reduce the obesity rate by:
- Providing a day camp for overweight children;
- Offering nutrition and exercise programs through the Women, Infants and Children program for low-income residents; and
- Partnering with schools and social service agencies to promote better nutrition (Moran, Modesto Bee, 4/4).
Kern County Public Health Director B.A. Jinadu on Monday said reducing the childhood obesity rate is vital in decreasing the high rate of heart disease and diabetes fatalities in the county, the Bakersfield Californian reports. Jinadu at his annual State of Public Health address said more funding and personnel are necessary in order to reduce the rate of chronic diseases.
The county ranks within the top 10 for heart disease and diabetes deaths, according to the report.
Jinadu also attributed lower rates of infant mortality, AIDS cases and heart disease to more residents having access to primary care providers because of community clinics expanding into rural areas (Hagedorn, Bakersfield Californian, 4/2).