Fort Bend’s annual check-up
By Elsa Maxey
With the release of this year’s annual county health rankings, results show Fort Bend County is the fifth healthiest county in Texas – that’s an eight point difference from last year’s 13th spot. A total of 29 factors that influence health such as smoking, education, employment, and access to health foods among others are used to make assessments about an area’s population, which have been used for the past five years to measure the progress of counties nationwide.
Although there are 254 counties in Texas, the rankings are based on the results of 232 counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“We in Fort Bend County Health & Human Services will continue to focus on providing a healthy environment for our residents by consistently paying close attention to the attributes that make for a healthy Fort Bend community,” said Dr. M. desVignes-Kendrick, the county’s health director in statements responding to the announcement about the county’s high ranking.
Other ratings for Fort Bend County in the health assessment include a 6th place for length of life and a 2nd for health behaviors. A high results health factor for the county is access to exercise opportunities. Fort Bend was cited at 80 percent for this one. A quick look-see shows many physical activity amenities located close to where residents live, including the many parks and recreational facilities throughout Fort Bend.
The top five healthiest counties in Texas, in addition to Fort Bend, include Presidio with the highest ranking followed by Williamson, Collin, and Denton. The least healthy counties are Brooks, Red River, Limestone, Polk, and San Augustine as the lowest ranked county in the state.
For more information, the health rankings are available online at county healthrankings.org.
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