Health a high priority

Published 9:48 am Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week shared a study stating Shelby County’s residents are the healthiest in the state.

That’s not surprising, considering all the resources Shelby County citizens have available.

First of all, we have many beautiful outdoor parks and recreational spaces, exemplified by Oak Mountain State Park.

We also have a varied dining scene, with restaurants that cater to any taste — especially in our larger cities, such as Hoover, Alabaster and Pelham. Since the landscape isn’t just littered with fast food places, our citizens have more choices and more chances to eat better.

We also have excellent youth sports leagues, which produce kids who are used to being active and playing sports. Our children go on to play sports in high school and college, which leads to them becoming more active, healthier adults.

However, while the study is encouraging, we still have more to work on. According to the study, 28 percent of Shelby County adults are obese — almost a third of the county’s adults. Also, Shelby is ranked No. 66 when it comes to the environment, which reflects the poor air quality that comes from being part of a metro area.

Do your part to walk instead of drive when you can, eat healthier and exercise more. Let’s keep Shelby as Alabama’s healthiest county for years to come.