Healthiest, unhealthiest counties ranked - WNEM TV 5

Michigan’s healthiest, unhealthiest counties ranked

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A new survey released Tuesday has Mid-Michigan counties ranging from near the top -- to the bottom -- when it comes to the health of its residents.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked 82 counties across Michigan. According to their summary, counties receive a rank for mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.

Taking a look at the report card for the largest counties in Mid-Michigan: Midland County checks in near the top at 17, Bay County is no. 54. Saginaw ranks near the bottom at 76 and Genesee County is right behind at 77.

Other Mid-Michigan rankings:

  • Lapeer -- 11
  • Isabella -- 20
  • Tuscola -- 27
  • Huron -- 46
  • Sanilac -- 50
  • Shiawassee -- 52
  • Gladwin -- 68

Health experts say Saginaw and Genesee counties are near the bottom of the pack for a couple of reasons. Both continue to have high smoking rates with more than 20 percent of adults still lighting up. Also, both counties have nearly 20 percent of adults engaging in excessive drinking.

One statistic that all the counties seem to have in common is that the adult obesity rate is around 30 percent, which is somewhat that's common across the country.

Joel Strasz of the Bay County Health Department said one reason is the lifestyles many residents live.

"We live in more and more of a remote control world, a lot more people are sitting at a desk all day rather than getting up and doing things," he said." While we can blame sugar and unhealthy eating habits, a big part of that too is getting people more active"

Leelanau County and Ottawa County top the list of healthiest counties in the state, while Ontonagon County and Wayne County took the lowest rankings at 80 and 81.

For the complete survey you can go to the following website:

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