This Kansas City Has Been Named The Unhealthiest City in The State
According to the United Health Foundation’s annual America’s Health Rankings for 2022, Kansas City, Missouri, is the least healthy city in the state of Missouri. This is despite the fact that the city is known for its rich cultural past and diverse population.
How They Ranked?
This in-depth study looked at the health of all 50 states using 35 important health indicators, such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, air quality, immunization rates, and how easy it is to get medical care. In the overall rankings, Missouri came in 39th, and Kansas came in 31st. In addition, the study used 23 health-related factors to give specific rankings for metropolitan areas within each state.
In this case, Kansas City, MO-KS, was the worst of the six metro areas in Missouri and the fifth worst of the seven metro areas in Kansas. The study highlighted scary health facts about Kansas City, like the highest rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and infant deaths compared to other major cities in both states.
The city also had the lowest rates of immunizations for kids and seniors, and only a small percentage of people had regular access to health care.
What Caused It?
Troublesome health outcomes in the city are caused by a number of different social and economic issues. Poverty, lack of schooling, uneven income, and racial differences have all played a big role. The U.S. Census Bureau found that 16.3% of people in Kansas City were living in poverty in 2019. This was higher than both the state average of 13.2% and the national average of 10.5%.
In terms of median family income, the city was also behind. It was $54,372, while the state was $57,409 and the country was $62,843. Also, a much higher number of people living in Kansas City were Black than in the rest of the state or the country (11.9%). People in these areas often had a harder time getting good health care and social services because of these differences.
Concerns about air quality, exercise, diet, and drug use were big on both the environmental and behavioral fronts. From a level of ozone pollution, the American Lung Association’s 2020 State of the Air report put Kansas City as the 25th worst city.
These amounts of ozone make breathing problems worse and make asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worse. The city also came in 47th for particle pollution, which raises the risk of lung cancer and heart disease.
Lifestyle decisions that were not healthy also played a part. Only 22.9% of adults in Kansas City followed the guidelines for physical exercise, only 10.7% ate the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, and 20.5% were current smokers.
How to Fix Things?
To fix the health problems in Kansas City, many groups must work together and look at the whole picture. These groups should include the government, healthcare providers, neighborhood groups, businesses, schools, and individuals. Among the possible answers to these problems are the following:
- Increasing locals’ access to high-quality, low-cost health care, especially those who don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance.
- Giving more money and help to public health services and programs that deal with social factors that affect health and try to reduce differences.
- encouraging healthy habits by teaching, running programs to raise awareness, offering rewards, and putting rules in place.
- Improving the health of the environment by cutting down on pollution, making the water cleaner, and adding more green areas.
- The goal is to get more people in the community and in politics involved in health-related projects and decisions.
Kansas City has a lot of unique charm and possibilities, but it also has big health problems that need to be looked at. The city can work toward a healthier and happier future for all of its people by putting in place solutions that work and last.