Lucas County Health Assessment shows: obesity up, smoking down

For the first time ever the Findings were released at a leadership retreat with community members ranging from the health sector, government officials, bankers, clergy, and more (

Toledo, Ohio (WNWO)- "Do people exercise, not enough, do people eat their fruits and vegetables--not enough," said Britney Ward, Director of Community Health for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.

On Monday Healthy Lucas County released their Community Health Assessment taking a look at a health and well-being in adults, children, and youth across Lucas county.

This year the findings were released at a leadership retreat with attendees ranging from the health sector employees, government officials, bankers, clergy, and more.

"We are seeing an increase in obesity and overweight in all three age groups," said Ward.

Fitness specialist Erika White says she's not surprised. "You think of someone that lives in a rural or urban area, what is available? McDonalds."

Just over a third of Lucas County adults are now considered obese. For high schoolers that number has increased as well , up from 13 to 15 percent.

But Experts say it's important to look at the underlying factors.

“Some of the things that we know that are causing it on the physical side is genetics which has the smallest proportion and also eating patterns and lack of physical activity," said White.

Despite the increase in obesity there's been other positive strides.

High blood pressure in adults is down from 37% in 2014 to 34%.

There's also been a decrease in smoking and drug use.

"This is the first year that we have pulled together officials and said these are the findings and we really need to put together Lucas County's health improvement plan," said Jan Ruma, Vice President of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio/

Now that the findings are out Healthy Lucas County will work with community partners to create absolution.

"What we've found is we've really made some progress in quite few areas to be excited about, but we also still have quite a few challenges."

For the full report you can visit HERE.

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