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STUDY: Riverside County Residents Smoke More, Eat More Fast Food

Riverside County ranks near the bottom in overall health among California counties; more than 60 percent of early deaths in the county are caused by heart disease, cancer, lung disease and stroke.

The following is a news release from the County of Riverside Department of Public Health:

More Riverside County residents – adults and young people – smoke than in previous years, and residents eat fast food more often than the rest of California. Those factors might help explain why Riverside County ranks near the bottom in overall health among California counties and why more than 60 percent of early deaths here are caused by heart disease, cancer, lung disease and stroke.

These nuggets and more detailed information can be found in the 2013 Community Health Profile, an 83-page snapshot of the health of county residents.

 The report, released by the County of Riverside Department of Public Health, describes the health issues facing Riverside County residents. It illustrates the scope of the chronic disease problem, the behaviors that lead to disease, and suggests opportunities to change behaviors to improve health. Recent studies ranked Riverside County 32nd among California’s 58 counties in overall health.

“We’re using data to tell a story; create a roadmap,” said Wendy Hetherington, chief epidemiologist for the county. “The report will help guide our public health programs and policies.”

The report is also the foundation for the Healthy Riverside County Initiative, an effort being launched in conjunction with the release of the health profile. Using the findings of the report the initiative has four priority areas: Improving eating habits, increase daily physical activity, reduce tobacco rates and building healthier environments that support walking, biking and exercise.

“It’s a new era of community involvement and population health improvement. The profile serves as starting point for community driven change. By making better food and drink choices, building exercise into our day and not smoking, we can make a difference not only for ourselves but for our friends and family,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County interim health officer.

The report, which includes data collected from local, state and federal sources, provides a resource for educational institutions, cities and other municipalities looking for ways to improve the health of their employees and residents.

The 2013 Community Health Profile is available for download at: www.rivcoph.org and www.rivcohealthdata.org

Michael January 29, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Wow! What a surprise! Riverside Co. ranking is so low. I watch these people come in to my office every day. Some are in such terrible shape their knees and hips are barely functioning under the strain of their excess weight. I can't tell you how many times a spouse or adult child pleads with me to do something to save their husband, wife, father, etc. Frustrating, is watching an obese person blocking the aisle in Costco because they just have to try the garbage samples being given out. Frustrating, is when my wife comes home from the nail salon an tells me about the elderly gentleman next to her that has to come in once a month to get his toe nails trimmed because he can't bend down to reach them on his own. Reading some of the above comments makes me even more angry. People are more concerned about their so-called privacy rights when someone takes their picture out in public instead of addressing the real problem. And they wonder why their medical costs are so high!
LBV Collins January 29, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Hi Roger. I assume you're using hyperbole when you say it's a crime to smoke in your home or car when kids are present. But I'm curious... why do you think it immoral? Because it's unhealthy? Because it sets poor health habits?
N1smo2go January 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
@Michael, the problem has and always will be PEOPLE. The individual responsible for his or her health and well being. Not the restaurants, bars, fast food chains and etc. People are the problem because of the social conditioning that freedom allows you to do what you want to do. The excuse that it's my body, property, choice and so forth and so on, is why it has been easy for the government to intervene in our lives. The lack of self control gives itself to losing total control and allowing someone or something to step into it's place. It's a not a county thing, or a regional survey to figure it out, it's the nature of how bad the American populous is falling, and it will only take a few to take down the whole "enchilada", pun intended.
Diana January 30, 2013 at 07:27 PM
N1, great comment and you are so correct, people need to take responsibility for their own actions, we need less Government controlling our lives, not more.
Arthur Spooner January 30, 2013 at 07:45 PM
So mayor Nannybloomberg should not be telling me how much soda to drink?

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