The report on County Health Rankings showed that nearly 40 percent of adults in Sedgwick County are considered obese, which is higher than the state and national average. However, health outcomes and health factors were assessed for each county across the country in the report. Health outcomes indicate the average life expectancy and overall physical and mental well-being of individuals in a community, while health factors are areas that individuals can work on to improve their longevity and overall health.

Sedgwick County’s health scores were reported to be worse than the average county in Kansas but better than the national average. In terms of health factors, Sedgwick County scores about the same as the average county in Kansas and better than the average county in the state. However, rising levels of obesity are a growing concern across the country, with various factors contributing to individuals becoming obese, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and limited access to healthy foods.

One issue identified by the report was that one in 10 low-income residents in Sedgwick County do not have a grocery store nearby, affecting their ability to maintain a healthy diet. Access to exercise opportunities was also examined in the report, with Sedgwick County residents falling between the state and national averages in finding places to be active. Wyatt Beckham, a senior analyst at the Kansas City Health Institute, suggested using community parks as a way to increase exercise opportunities for residents.

Overall, despite challenges posed by obesity and limited access to healthy food and exercise opportunities, individuals in Sedgwick County have better health outcomes compared to

By Samantha Johnson

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