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Report: Polk County's health has room to improve | News

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Report: Polk County's health has room to improve
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Report: Polk County's health has room to improve

Bartow, Florida -- The Polk County Health Department announced the county's 3rd Annual Health Rankings were released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

With a steady ranking of 33rd in health outcomes and 43rd in health factors, out of 67 counties in Florida, officials say Polk County has a good baseline to work from toward improving the health of the community.

Community groups such as Polk Vision, the Healthy Start Coalition's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance, and Tobacco Free Florida, to name just a few, work year-round to implement strategies to address disparities in the health of Polk County citizens. 

These groups bring together organizations, businesses, government, and individuals with a common goal of improving the health of all people in Polk County.

"Polk Vision will be hosting a community forum on June 29th at Polk State College in Lakeland.  The topic is Building a Healthier Polk," said Colleen Burton, Executive Director of Polk Vision.

"Our Quality of Life sub-committee has been reviewing data from various community health assessments, and has decided to focus the June event on prioritizing strategies on best practices for addressing obesity in Polk County."

Chronic diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems in the United States, but they are also among the most preventable. 

By effectively addressing obesity, we can make a significant impact on preventing serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

While some factors are improving in Polk, others, say health officials, point to warnings of future health consequences.

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