Oldham Co. is healthiest county in Ky. according to study


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on March 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 9:17 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The annual report card for healthy counties in Kentucky is out and Oldham County takes the top spot, for the second year in a row.

Jefferson County lands at 30.

The study goes beyond foods and exercise. It's a snapshot of how poverty and education can affect the overall health of the state.

Crossing the county line can mean a world of difference for your health.

Even if Jucy's Smokehouse BBQ in Oldham County is the first thing you see. Even this yummy food isn't enough to rattle Oldham County's number one ranking as healthiest county in Kentucky.

"People have more opportunity  out here and if you have more opportunity you are going to eat healthier and make use of those opportunities," Jeff Hart, Oldham County Resident said.

A new report card on healthy counties out looks at a list of 25 health indicators, including smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity rates, as well as income, education  and insurance  to rank counties within each state from healthiest to least healthy. Oldham claimed the top spot for the second year in a row. The unhealthiest is Floyd County in Eastern Kentucky

Residents believe it has plenty to do with quality of life.

"I think people care about education and health and that's becoming an increasingly important factor," Bob Morris, Oldham County Resident, said.

Terry Brooks the Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates says no-health factors play a big role.

"The level of economic well being is a huge factor. How much money you have in your wallet influences what quality of food you can buy. And the quality of food you purchase, influences your health," Terry Brooks, Executive Director of the Kentucky Youth Advocates, said.

Jefferson County went from 33 in 2012 to 30 in 2013. With a town full of parks and avid runners, some would think otherwise. But the study says the county ranks higher in smoking, alcohol consumption and has lower high school graduation rates. Some residents we spoke to also agree it has a lot to do with jobs.  

"You don't make as much money out in our end , so you can't afford the health memberships," Rick Lytle, Jefferson County Resident, said.

Here's a look at how the counties look across the state. Eastern Kentucky is home to all but three of the Commonwealth's 30 unhealthiest counties. The central part of the state is healthier. Brooks says the takeaway is that there is an undeniable link between health and poverty.

"What can we do as a local community to make sure that our kids and families and all citizens have a healthier lifestyle ?" Brooks said.

For more information on this study click here.