Let's Get Healthy, Shawnee County!

by Melissa Brunner

A report out today ranked 100 of the state's counties on overall health. Congrats to all you Wildcats in Riley County - you came out tops! Shawnee County ranked in the bottom half - 65th out of the 100 Kansas counties surveyed.

What's up with that? The survey looked at areas like adult smoking, obesity, binge drinking and violent crime. Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino of the Shawnee County Health Agency told 13's Giang Nguyen that individual behavior plays a role in some of those factors, but environmental influences also must be explored. For example, he cited access to things like education, recreational activities, outdoor activities and healthy food.

Those things aside, though, let's not chalk up our health as a lost cause. You might not be able to afford a gym, but you can go for a walk or find a workout show on television or check out an exercise DVD from the local library.  Quit smoking - put the money you save in a jar and treat yourself to something nice later! Take advantage of our great parks and trails - Lake Shawnee and the Governor's mansion are a couple of my favorite areas. I keep frozen yogurt in my freezer now instead of ice cream for my indulgence - although I do need to do a better job of choosing a banana instead of the lemon cake when I visit our station's resident treat provider!

Changes are never easy, but perhaps seeing the rankings will motivate us to improve our numbers or, in Riley County's case, keep our bragging rights.



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