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Report shows which states’ counties are healthiest; obesity, income, education all play a role

Startling differences in the health of residents living just a few miles apart are highlighted in a new health rankings report that assesses wellness in nearly all the nation’s 3,000-plus counties, reports the Washington Post. A typical example is in Illinois, where the healthiest of its 102 counties, Kendall, is right next door to the one ranked 65th, LaSalle. Twice as many LaSalle County residents are in poor or fair health and smoking rates are double the national average. Suburban versus rural and proximity to big cities and high-paying jobs partly explain the disparities. Kendall County is on the edge of Chicago’s metropolitan area, while LaSalle County is more farming-based…

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