By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps has ranked Clinton County third in the state for overall health.
The ranking was based on health factors including length of life, quality of life, and health behaviors such as excessive drinking, exercise opportunities, and smoking.
Clinton County’s residents have an outstanding record compared to the state average. Clinton County enjoys 33 percent fewer premature deaths than the state average as well as 4 percent fewer smokers (16 percent to a state average 20), 1 percent fewer excessive drinkers (17 percent to a state average 18), 37 percent fewer sexually transmitted infections (178 cases a year to a state average 481), and an incredible 13 percent fewer children living in poverty (11 percent to a state average 24), according to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.
Personal trainer Mark Denda works out of Lansing. He serves clients in Lansing, St. Johns, DeWitt and the surrounding areas.
“I think it’s wonderful that Clinton County has gotten recognized for their health,” said Denda. “I provide services for several different clients in the St. Johns area and I know other trainers that have or still are. There’s a gym called the Human Performance Institute in DeWitt that does a lot of work in their community as well.”
The Human Performance Institute was featured in another recent Chatter article. You can read about it here.
“Everything in the (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps) ranking system is very important,” said David Reed, Director of Statistics at County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. “Smoking and excessive drinking are two of the biggest mass murderers of the modern American. Poverty and poor standard of living can also lead to health issues. Clinton County scores well in all of these categories.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking accounts for 480,000 deaths in America each year, with another 88,000 dying to excessive alcohol consumption.
Despite high scores in these areas, Clinton County is still behind the state average in several key categories. One of these is diabetes, in which Clinton County is 4 percent above the state average. Another is Obesity, in which Clinton County is 3 percent above the state average.
“People living in rural areas often suffer from obesity and the issues that come along with it,” said Ana Baylin, epidemiologist at the University of Michigan. “Obesity and the poor nutrition in the foods that help cause obesity can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and hundreds of other problems.”
“The best thing that you can do to improve your overall health is to watch your diet and exercise,” said Denda. “It’s been said before but it’s worth saying a hundred times. If everyone in Clinton County exercised for 20 minutes a day and ate about 15,000 calories a week, with good health foods like fish, eggs, and vegetables thrown in, Clinton County would rank #1 next year.”