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Wilson among healthiest in state
Dec 12, 2012 4:00 pm
Wilson County is among Tennessee’s healthiest counties, ranking sixth, according to recent data.
According to the County Health Rankings program, which uses a combination of random telephone surveys and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Wilson County has among the fewest number of premature deaths, ranking fourth in the state for mortality.
The county also ranks fourth in the state for socioeconomic factors. The county exceeds the state’s number in terms of education, with 84 percent of the sampled population as high school graduates, compared to the state’s rate of 79 percent. In Wilson County, 60 percent of the sampled population has some college, compared to 55 percent for the state.
The county shows the most room for improvement in health behaviors, ranking 36th in the state.
The rate of adult smokers exceeds the state average of 24 percent at 31 percent, which is more than double the national benchmark of 14 percent.
The rate of adult obesity, 30 percent, falls below the state’s rate of 32 percent, but exceeds the national benchmark of 25 percent.
The county also performed marginally better than the state in terms of physical activity. Among the sampled population in Wilson County, 29 percent reported that they had not engaged in any type of physical activity other than work within the last 30 days. Among the state’s sampled population, 30 percent responded similarly. The national benchmark for this category was 21 percent.
The county also showed room for improvement in the category for physical environment, ranking 46th in the state.
The physical environment category measures aspects such as air pollution, access to recreational facilities, access to healthy foods and the number of fast-food restaurants.
While the county fared well in terms of air quality, with just five days of high ozone, the county had more than double the national benchmark for fast-food restaurants, with 52 percent of all restaurants in the county being fast-food restaurants. This is on par with the state’s percentage.
While Wilson County fared well within the state, Tennessee did not fare so well nationally.
Tennessee’s population still ranks poorly in overall health, but there are signs of improvement, according to a report released Tuesday.
America’s Health Rankings, by United Health Foundation, ranks Tennessee 39th out of all states, up from 41st in 2011.
Key factors influencing Tennessee’s low rank include high prevalence of sedentary lifestyles, high infant mortality rate and high prevalence of low birthweight, as well as high violent crime.