Study Shows That Several Eastern Kentucky Counties Are Unhealthiest In State

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

A new study shows all but one of Kentucky's ten unhealthiest counties are in our coverage area.

Researchers say a lack of physicians and health insurance are partly to blame, but they say unhealthy diets and not enough exercise are the biggest reasons for our health problems.

Dr. Anthony Yonts knows eastern Kentuckians can't control genetics or limited access to health care, and practicing healthier habits can be tough.

“In order to exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week, it really requires a major lifestyle change,” Dr. Anthony Yonts said.

Carolyn Raleigh lives in Perry County, ranked the fourth least healthy county in the state.

She says it is tough--but not impossible--to find the time to walk around the Perry County Park with her sister after work.

Chris Cornett sets himself apart from the growing number of overweight kids, by practicing his game.

“We have a toy football, we toss it back and forth and try to get better at it,” Cornett said.

To get the most from exercise, experts say we all need to make healthier food choices.

“We all like to have our Snickers, pops, chicken and dumplings, which are all very good, but those like everything, need to be done in limited proportions,” Dr. Yonts said.

Yonts hopes in the next few years eastern Kentuckians will help push their counties to the top of the healthy list.

Kentucky's 10 unhealthiest counties, with No. 10 as the worst:
1. Owsley
2. Powell
3. Hart
4. Knott
5. Lee
6. McCreary
7. Perry
8. Harlan
9. Clay
10. Wolfe

Kentucky's 10 healthiest counties, with No. 1 as the best:
1. Oldham
2. Boone
3. Jessamine
4. Anderson
5. Woodford
6. Fayette
7. Spencer
8. Daviess
9. Calloway
10. Clark

Source: Kentucky Institute of Medicine's "The Health of
Kentucky" report,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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