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Healthy diets often tied to economic stability

In 2018, Comanche County’s adult obesity rate grew to 36 percent. That’s according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings. Those same rankings saw the county’s rate of physical inactivity increase to 31 percent.

Cristal Rivera is the interim program coordinator for the TSET Healthy Living Program at the Comanche County Health Department. According to Rivera, the general popular opinion is that healthy living depends solely on the individual. But this is not the case. While habits like exercise and regular doctor visits do factor into healthy living, social determinants also play an important role.

In fact, things like economic stability, education, health care access and social context can influence a person’s health significantly more than controllable habits like exercise.

“Economic stability and the built environment directly influence the quality of a person’s diet,” Rivera said. “Food insecurity, poverty and low access to healthy food options make low-income individuals and families vulnerable to poor nutrition.”

The Lawton Constitution

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