Saturday, April 15, 2017

Elizabethtown newspaper reminds readers that community health begins with individual health

The annual County Health Rankings provide a good opportunity for news stories that focus attention on the health of communities. But they also can be the basis of reminders that community health is collectively based on individual health.

The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown recognized that and published an editorial that recapped the rankings of Hardin and some adjoining counties, all of which are in the top 25 in Kentucky, but also noted some of the major negative health factors in the area, such as a smoking rate that's above the national average.

"Ultimately, health rankings are difficult to change. Improvement trends must begin one person at a time, the editorial said. "If you smoke, try to quit. If you abuse drugs or misuse alcohol, professional resources are available to help you stop. If you aren’t getting exercise, start with a walk at lunch time or take the stairs instead of an elevator. If the number staring back at you from the bathroom scale is embarrassing, change your eating habits with the next meal. If you have multiple sex partners, use protection. If you haven’t seen a doctor in a long time, make an appointment today for a physical."

The editorial concluded, "The statistics received a headline and grabbed some attention. But the true measure of this study’s impact is not about where each county stands but about what each person should consider doing about their own health. You alone can make a difference in your life. Commit to a change for the better — even if it’s a small change."

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