County health rankings where you live makes a difference in your health large green apple calories

If there’s something to be learned from the annual ranking of america’s healthiest counties, "it’s tougher to be healthy when you’re living in a neighborhood that’s not healthy," said stephanie carey, health officer in montgomery township and rocky hill.

The rankings, released wednesday by the robert wood johnson foundation and the university of wisconsin population health institute, do not necessarily show where the healthiest people live, carey explained, but where there is a better potential to live a healthy life, based on a number of environmental and demographic factors.

Those factors include unemployment, education level, violent crime, length of commute, income, number of adults who smoke, access to exercise opportunities and the number of health care providers.

Based on those and other factors, two central jersey counties — hunterdon and somerset — rank in the top three healthiest counties out of new jersey’s 21 counties.State average

In the factors that determine the overall ranking, hunterdon ranked first in clinical care, quality of life, health factors and social and economic factors. Hunterdon’s lowest rank (sixth) came in physical environment with air pollution worse than the state average. Hunterdon was also worse than the state averages in driving alone to work and length of commute.

Somerset residents smoke less than the state average and are skinnier than the average. Like hunterdon, somerset is below the state average in physical activity but near the state average for access to exercise opportunities.

Middlesex county’s highest rankings came in length of life and health behaviors, where it ranked fifth. The county’s worst ranking came in physical environment at no. 13.

Union’s highest ranking came in health behaviors, no. 6, and its worst ranking was in physical environment, no. 15. Union also ranked 14th in clinical care and 13th in social and economic factors.State average

Of the four central jersey counties, union had the lowest number of excessive drinkers (16 percent), followed by middlesex (17 percent), somerset at 18 percent and hunterdon at 19 percent. The state average is 17 percent.

Hunterdon, one of the wealthiest counties in the united states, has only 5 percent uninsured residents. That number rises to 7 percent in somerset, 10 percent in middlesex and 13 percent in union. State average is 10 percent. What it can mean

If the data indicate a problem with obesity, then community health efforts have to focus on educating people on healthy food habits, like choosing an apple over a hamburger, carey said, or buying fresh produce at a farmers market.

In collaboration with towns, more active exercise habits can be encouraged by more hiking trails, dedicated lanes for bicyclists and bike racks, she said.

"It truly takes a village to change behaviors and provide the resources and tools that individuals and families need to take charge of their health,” said serena collado, director, community health, robert wood johnson university hospital somerset, which founded the healthier somerset coalition in 2010.Health care

“we are so fortunate here in somerset county to have the commitment and collaboration of health care providers, businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based communities, schools and government agencies through the healthier somerset coalition," collado said. "Working together, we will continue to identify and address our community’s health care needs to ensure that we remain one of the healthiest in new jersey.”

In middlesex county, robert wood johnson university hospital’s (RWJUH) community health promotions and domestic violence education and prevention programs received 2018 community outreach awards from the new jersey hospital association’s (NJHA) healthcare research education trust.

RWJUH was recognized in the category of improving nutrition and well being for its partnership with st. Peter’s university hospital under the banner of healthy middlesex. The partnership established healthy kids camp, which featured evidence-based camp curriculums, activities and policies to maintain healthy habits and education among county youths during the school year.Health care

RWJUH’s domestic violence education and prevention program captured an award in the category of preventing disease and injury. RWJUH partnered with the AVON foundation and community-based organizations to promote education and reduce the stigma related to domestic and sexual violence in the latino community through the no mas violencia: addressing domestic & sexual violence in the latino community program.