Survey shows Putnam County has obesity problem

By Bryan Reynolds -

OTTAWA — The Putnam County Public Library hosted the 2016 Putnam County Community Health Assessment on Tuesday.

The assessment charted data from a health survey, breaking down health and health care issues in Putnam County. The meeting was attended by county health care employees and law enforcement.

Tessa Elliott, from the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, gave a presentation explaining the results from a 16-page survey mailed to Putnam County adults ages 18 years and older. The survey asked a range of health questions including alcohol consumption, cancer testing, drug use and other health behavior.

Elliott said of the 1,200 surveys mailed 45 percent, 518 people, responded. Of those who responded 96 percent identified as Caucasian.

After describing the methodology, Elliott elaborated on the survey results.

Of those people surveyed, 12 percent said they had been diagnosed with a form of cancer at some point in their lives. The top three cancers reported in the survey were breast cancer (34 percent), other skin cancer (27 percent) and prostrate cancer (20 percent).

Seventy four percent of those surveyed were found to be either overweight or obese. Elliott said this information came from taking the height and weight of the people surveyed and using the Body Mass Index to calculate each individual’s place on the spectrum. Of that percentage, 38 percent registered on the index as obese. This is 8 percent higher than both the state and U.S. averages, which are 30 percent. The overweight percentage is at 36, which is closer to the average for Ohio and the country, which are 37 percent and 36 percent respectively.

The survey indicated a correlation between income and obesity; 58 percent of obesity was found in people making less than $25,000 a year while 36 percent of obesity was found in people making more than $25,000 a year.

While the survey asked Putnam County residents about their drug use Elliot said the results needed to be scrutinized because people tend not to be honest about their drug use for fear of punishment.

The survey results indicated less then 1 percent of the people surveyed said they use any other drug than marijuana including but not limited to methamphetamine, heroin and bath salts. Though 3 percent of the survey takers admitted to using marijuana in the six months before the survey. This number grew to 12 percent for people making less than $25,000 a year.

One percent of people who admitted to having an opiate addiction during the survey said they had looked for help combating the issue in Putnam County and 100 percent of them stated they could not find any help.

By Bryan Reynolds

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.

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