Riverside County Residents Smoke More, Eat More Fast Food
Riverside County public health officials say we eat too much fast food, smoke more than other counties and we don't exercise enough. Video by kmir6.comvideo
Riverside County's Public Health Department just finished measuring where we rank in overall health across other counties in California.
The results may surprise you.
Northern California tends to be ranked higher in healthy living than Southern California.
So we asked residents how healthy they think we are in Riverside County.
"I don't know, I would say one, number one," guessed Palm Springs resident, Juan Ascencio.
We asked Barbara Hoffman of Palm Springs if she was surprised that we rank 32 out of 58.
"Ouch that hurts, that's bad!" said Hoffman.
Riverside County public health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, said, "You wanted to give us an A through F, we'd probably get a D+."
Riverside County public health officials say we eat too much fast food, smoke more than other counties and we don't exercise enough.
"Just over 90 percent of kids for example on the weekend are watching up to five hours of TV and that's time that they could easily be spending outside, and 75 percent of adults in the county aren't getting any regular physical activity at all," said Dr. Kaiser.
According to the county's health study, 75 percent of people ate fast food at least once a week, 53 percent of kids ate less than 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and 16 percent of kids and teens drink more than one sugary drink a day.
And when it comes to lighting up, 60 percent of residents have never smoked.
Of the 40 percent who have, 17 percent currently smoke which is an increase from 2005
"We want to reduce smoking, we want to make sure that people make healthier diet choices and we want to make sure that people are getting out and exercising, you do that and we help to reduce heart disease, help to reduce stroke, help to reduce diabetes," said Dr. Kaiser.
The county health department is rolling out the Healthy Riverside Initiative, which includes programs like "Rethink your Drink" to show how much sugar is in soda, "Safe Routes to Schools" to get kids walking, more smoke free areas and exercise programs
"Exercise at least three times a week, join a gym if you can, if not walk, but do something, but exercise," said Hoffman.
"I try to eat more consciously, try to use more natural foods as opposed to some of the chemical derivatives that are in a lot of our foods," said Ascencio.
And county health officials told us pockets within the Coachella Valley actually fare worse than the overall county rankings.