STUDY: Columbus Co. unhealthiest in NC...again - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

STUDY: Columbus Co. unhealthiest in NC...again

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Once again, Columbus County falls at the bottom of the list, weighing in as the least-healthy county in the state. Once again, Columbus County falls at the bottom of the list, weighing in as the least-healthy county in the state.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A new study ranks Columbus County as the unhealthiest county in North Carolina...again.

The University of Wisconsin released the rankings, which shows 37 percent of children in the county are living in poverty, compared to 25 percent statewide.

The study says 28 percent of its residents are in poor or fair health.

According to the study, Bladen County didn't do much better, and was only ranked two place higher than Columbus at #98.

Most of the unhealthiest counties are in southeastern or northeastern North Carolina. The healthiest counties tend to be clustered around cities.

Wake County was ranked the healthiest county in the state, and New Hanover County was ranked 9th. Pender County came in at #20 on the list and Brunswick at #37.

According to a press release, the counties are ranked according to factors ranging from individual behavior to quality of health care, to education and jobs, to access to healthy food, and to quality of the air.

The study looks at many health factors including adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking, and teenage pregnancy. It also looks at things like high school graduation rates, the number of children in poverty, and access to healthy foods.

The online report, available at www.countyhealthrankings.org, includes a snapshot of each county in North Carolina with a color coded map comparing each county's overall health ranking.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this report.

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