BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – With the COVID-19 pandemic refusing to go away, the Kern County Department of Public Health Services is calling on residents to invest in a healthier community and improve their overall quality of life.
According to Kern Public Health, more than half of COVID-19 deaths in Kern County were people with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and/or heart disease as comorbidities.
Kern County has some of the highest rates of obesity and death from chronic health conditions in the state, according to the department. Of all adults in Kern County, 78% are obese or overweight.
Kern Public Health said the county had the highest number of residents who died from diabetes in the entire state. Kern County also has the fourth-highest death rate from heart disease, which is 43% higher than the California average.
Kern County Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan says that with the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to be aware of your overall health.
“As we continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to invest in your overall health,” Carrigan said. “Public Health is here to help, providing tools and resources to help you and your family. From selecting healthier menu options at local restaurants to making exercise part of your daily routine, join us on the road to better health today. Let’s get Kern healthy!
The county challenges the community to improve overall health throughout the county and encourages residents to take advantage of the programs public health has to offer.
Here are three county programs provided by Kern Public Health to help maintain a healthier lifestyle:
- #KnowYourNumbers – This traveling program offers two free health exams, informing participants of their body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels before and after program interventions. Program interventions include nutrition coaching with our public health nutritionist and fitness classes through our partnership with In-Shape Health Clubs.
- Certified Healthy – This program allows residents to choose local restaurants that offer healthier, more nutritious meal options that have been “certified healthy” by meeting our ten nutrition criteria. Download our free Safe Diner app on your smartphone to find certified healthy restaurants near you when dining out.
- Waste Hunger Not Food – This program rescues healthy food from schools, restaurants and markets that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to those in need. Through our partnership with CityServe, we deliver these fresh salvaged foods directly to neighborhoods through an infrastructure of churches as well as other community partnerships. If you’re looking to make healthier food choices for your family, but have difficulty accessing or affording those choices, visit our website to find a food distribution site near you.
For more information on these programs, visit the Kern Public Health website by clicking here.