Health Rankings Spark Population Health Initiatives

John Commins, April 4, 2012

When it comes to wellness, Hernando, MS Mayor Chip Johnson says it is the individual's responsibility to stay healthy through proper nutrition and regular exercise.

"But I do believe you can't exercise your responsibility for good health if your city or the county you live in does not give you an opportunity and an atmosphere for that good health," the mayor says.

Johnson made his remarks in a teleconference with reporters at Tuesday's launch of the 2012 County Health Rankings. The rankings were compiled and published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

For those unfamiliar with the Rankings, which for the past three years has examined and ranked more than 3,000 counties in 50 states, it's worth a look.

The Rankings detail county-by-county health measures including per capita education, income, rates of smoking, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, and the ratio of primary care physicians per county residents. This year the Rankings include new measures such as the number of fast food restaurants in a county and levels of physical inactivity among residents.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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