Sedgwick County: Where Health Outcomes are Below Average but Obesity Rates Surpass the National Average

Report Indicates Room for Improvement in Achieving Health in Sedgwick County

Nearly 40 percent of adults in Sedgwick County are obese, which is higher than the averages for both Kansas and the United States. This data highlights the importance of addressing overall health in the community. According to a recent report by County Health Rankings, health outcomes and health factors vary greatly among counties across the nation.

Health outcomes measure the average lifespan and overall physical and mental health within a community, while health factors indicate areas for improvement to promote longer and healthier lives. While Sedgwick County’s health outcomes are below the average for counties in Kansas, they are better than the national average. In terms of health factors, Sedgwick County is on par with the statewide average and surpasses the national average. Obesity rates are on the rise nationwide, with various factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and limited access to healthy foods contributing to this trend. The report notes that one in 10 low-income residents in Sedgwick County do not have easy access to grocery stores, impacting their ability to maintain a nutritious diet.

Moreover, the availability of exercise opportunities plays a crucial role in promoting an active lifestyle. Sedgwick County residents have access to exercise options that fall between the state and national averages, including parks and recreational areas. Wyatt Beckham, a senior analyst at Kansas Health Institute, suggests exploring local parks as a way to increase physical activity and overall health. Despite challenges related to obesity and access to healthy foods, residents of Sedgwick County fare better in terms of overall health compared to the average county in the nation. It is important to address these disparities and work towards creating a healthier and more active community.

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