A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New beverage recommendations for kids say avoid all drinks with sugar — and all plant-based milks

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Health experts from four of the nation’s most prominent health organizations have created a new set of beverage recommendations for children under the age of 5 that basically recommends breast milk and infant formula for infants under the age of 1 and water and cows’ milk for older children. The experts strongly caution against drinks with added sugar,...

Adult obesity reaches all-time high of 36.6% in Ky.; Docter calls on insurance to cover obesity prevention

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky adults just keep getting larger, reaching an all-time high for the number of obese adults in the state, ranking it fifth in the nation. “As a society, as a whole, we’re not quite convinced yet what a major problem this is,” said Dr. Barbara Fleming-Phillips, an internist who helps run the weight management clinic at UK Healthcare’s...

Louisville Health Equity Fund announces $80,000 in grants to local minority-led nonprofit organizations

In an effort to address disparities in our community’s health across racial and socioeconomic lines, the Louisville Health Equity Fund has announced the recipients of its 2019 grant awards. The fund’s four grant recipients are local nonprofits who are working to build a racially equitable Louisville Metro. Each recipient will receive $20,000 this year and have the opportunity to receive a second...

Health Equity Fund calls for applications to support local nonprofits, racially equitable Louisville Metro

The Louisville Health Equity Fund has announced the 2019 call for applications. The fund supports local nonprofits led by people of color who are working to build a racially equitable Louisville Metro. The $160,000 Health Equity Fund anticipates awarding $20,000 to up to four grantees in 2019 with a second $20,000 grant in 2020. Funds to support this grant opportunity are provided by the Robert Wood...

New report shows obesity is still major crisis; Ky. ranks eighth among states with highest obesity rates

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Obesity is a crisis that continues to plague Kentucky and the rest of the country, according to data released this week. An annual report by the health policy group Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the Commonwealth is ranked eighth nationally among state for the highest obesity rate, with 1-in-3 adults considered obese....

Rural Blog: Nine Kentucky counties among 42 ‘bright spots’ identified by Appalachian health researchers

Appalachia’s major problems include poor health, but in the 420-county region there are counties that have better health than you might expect, given their socioeconomic status. The Appalachian Regional Commission issued a study Tuesday that points out 42 “bright spots,” 10 of them with case studies, that may suggest strategies for others in the region. This map spotlights the 10...

Index of readiness for disasters and health emergencies places Ky. about same as U.S.

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Is Kentucky is as ready to manage a natural disaster or a health emergency? Just as much as the nation as a whole is, according to a recently released Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. The annual report, called the 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, gives Kentucky a score of 7.1 on a 10-point scale for preparedness, the same as the national...

Report finds Kentucky spends just 4.6 percent of 1998 settlement funds on tobacco prevention

“Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later,” released Tuesday, finds that states continue to spend only a small percentage of the revenues from the 1998 settlement and tobacco taxes to reduce tobacco use. According to the authors, no state currently funds tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the CDC-recommended level. Kentucky...

Kentucky adult obesity rate jumps to 34.6 percent, ranks fifth in the nation; diabetes rate highest ever

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News We’re fat, and getting fatter. And that’s making us sicker. More than one-third of Kentucky adults are obese, placing the state fifth in the country in obesity, a big jump from 12th the year before. Kentucky was one of only two states where obesity rates increased from 2014 to 2015, according to the latest State of Obesity report. Kentucky’s...

People in rural Appalachia more likely to die early, mainly due to greater drug overdose rates

“People in rural areas of Appalachia are more likely to die early deaths than in other parts of the country,” and a big reason is that they “die from drug overdoses at greater rates than the rest of the country,” writes Kery Murakami, the Washington, D.C., reporter for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.’s CNHI News Service. Murakami notes that in Leslie County, Kentucky,...

A few surprises, but little change in top and bottom overall ratings in County Health Report

The sixth annual County Health Rankings report shows little change in Kentucky’s top and bottom rankings, but there were a few surprises, with several counties showing up in the top 10 for the first time. Marshall County was one, ranking 10th in both health outcomes and health factors, the rankings’ two main measures. This is an improvement from last year’s 26th in outcomes and 19th...

South remains most obese part of U.S.,
annual report says; Kentucky ranked 12th

To view an interactive version of this map, click here.   The South remains the fattest part of the country, according to the 12th annual State of Obesity report released this week by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Arkansas leads the way with an adult obesity rate of 35.9 percent. West Virginia is second, at 35.7 percent, followed by Mississippi, 35.5...

Research indicates students throw away less food since new, healthier lunch rules in place

Kentucky Health News   One of the most consistent complaints about the healthier school-lunch standards is that more food ends up in the garbage can, but a three-year study at urban middle schools says the opposite is true.   “Overall, the revised meal standards and policies appear to have significantly lowered plate waste in school cafeterias,” says the report of the study, conducted...

Kentucky has fifth highest adult obesity rate in nation; state’s teenagers have worst rate

  Kentucky now has the fifth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Kentucky’s adult obesity rate is 33.2 percent, up from 25.3 percent in 2004 and from 12.7 percent in 1990.   What’s more, Kentucky...

Oldham County is the healthiest in Kentucky, according to new County Health Rankings

Oldham County ranks healthiest in Kentucky, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.   “This report demonstrates public health successes and highlights opportunities for improvement in counties across the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie...