Smoking, obesity top north Okaloosa County health concerns


In addition to a half-mile trail well traveled by walkers, joggers and bicyclists, Twin Hills Park includes workout equipment. Here, Marilyn Stephens gets in her morning workout.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 02:43 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County Health Department statistics underscore what director Dr. Karen Chapman calls "the major ongoing health issues in our community."

Sixty-four percent of the county's population is overweight or obese, and nearly 20 percent smoke.

"Tobacco use and obesity are large cost drivers of health care," Chapman said.

The department’s findings indicate locals surpass the state average in several unhealthy areas:

•19.2 percent of the county population smokes, vs. 17.1 percent statewide

• 13.6 percent of women smoke during pregnancy, vs. 6.9 percent statewide

• 54.9 percent of adolescents were exposed to second-hand smoke in one week, vs. 47 percent statewide

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