Dismissing bad health study makes problems worse

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — When we reported on Tuesday’s front page that Beckley was named the laziest city in West Virginia, we heard some snickering and laughter. And some folks flat out weren’t buying it.

“I just think that’s a bunch of crap,” said one caller.

 According to the story, website 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the level of physical activity in each metro area in all 50 states. It reviewed the percentage of adults in every metro area who report engaging in no physical activity during their leisure time, with data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, finding 36 percent of Beckley residents report getting no physical activity whatsoever.

As The Register-Herald’s Daniel Tyson reported, “That may count for the city’s 35 percent obesity rate.”

Of course, flipping those stats — 64 percent of Beckley residents do report getting physical exercise — might make us feel a bit better about ourselves, but it is false praise. And, really, this is no laughing matter.

First, what is The County Health Ranking & Roadmaps? According to its website, it is “a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute” with a vision of a healthy America — “now and for generations to come.”

That seems like a worthy undertaking.

The rankings — again, taken from its website — “provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities.”

We’re pretty sure they don’t have a built-in bias against us…


Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address