Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Healthiest Counties: Where Does Craighead County Rank?

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on April 16, 2013 ][ In Medical and Health Information ]

 

I read an interesting article on the healthiest counties in the U.S.  The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Here are some interesting tidbits from the study for you to consider when thinking about national health care right down to your own state, county and town.

 

The healthiest counties tend to be in suburban areas where the residents are educated and have a higher income.  Residents of the least healthy counties die at a rate of twice that of healthier counties.  Not surprisingly, those who are uninsured get sicker and die younger.

 

In the United States, more than 1 in 5 children live in poverty.  This means that they lack access to adequate food and are among the uninsured.  Hungry, sick children do not learn well in school, no matter what “no child left behind” tries to do and therefore do not contribute to a well trained workforce later on.

 

No matter what kind of access to health care people have, they will not be healthy if they lack access to healthy foods and are unable to exercise.  Food deserts do exist in the U.S.  where people live too far from reliable sources of fresh produce and other healthy foods.  Urban areas that have plenty of parks with walking and biking trails provide free places to exercise, something missing in the unhealthiest counties.  The places with the highest death rates also have the highest rates of smoking, teen pregnancy, physical inactivity and preventable hospital stays.

 

Closer to home, Craighead county is among Arkansas’ healthier counties but is surrounded by a sea of the poorest, unhealthiest counties along the river.  Most of the healthiest counties in Arkansas are in the northwest and central part of the state, to no one’s surprise.  Some interesting statistics about Craighead include: 19% of the residents smoke, 33% are obese, 21% are uninsured, 28% of children live in poverty, 58% have had at least some college while 85% graduated from high school.

 

In contrast, Ouachita county ranks at the bottom in Arkansas with 27% of the residents smoking, 37% are obese, 19% are uninsured, 38% of the children live in poverty, while 50% have some college and 85% graduated from high school.  You can see the alarming jump in the number of smokers, those who are obese and children living in poverty.  The point is made that access to health care doesn’t translate to healthier residents when you note that more people have insurance in Ouachita county as compared to Craighead.

 

 

This study highlights the need for parks and recreational opportunities in communities; it’s not just about having fun, it’s a matter of health.  There is also a great need to find a solution for food deserts in the U.S. such as refrigerated trucks that bring the store to the people.  Educating young people about good nutrition and how the body functions best should begin early in grade school and be a required part of science curriculum.  Prevention is always cheaper than fixing the problem and is a way to cut medical costs.

Upadated on April 16, 2013


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