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Survey: Buffalo County residents getting slimmer, but alcohol use rises

Survey: Buffalo County residents getting slimmer, but alcohol use rises.

Residents in Buffalo County can celebrate a declining rate of overweight and obese adults, but mental health and alcohol issues have emerged, according to a press release by the Buffalo County Community Partners.

Last year, Buffalo County Community Partners commissioned an Adult Behavioral Risk Factor Survey to secure 1,000 telephone surveys. “The data reports help our community identify needs and strengths. We’re able to adopt strategies that address problem areas and build upon strengths to improve the quality of life in our county,” said Emily Baughman, Data Coordinator at Community Partners.

In 2016, 64 percent of Buffalo County adults reported having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above, compared to 67.1 percent in 2012. This number is lower than both the 2015 national rate at 65.3 percent and Nebraska rate at 67 percent.

BMI is measured using an individual’s height and weight—both of which were self-reported in the Adult Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. A BMI of 25-30 classifies a person as overweight; a BMI above 30 classifies a person as obese.

Also in the 2016 survey, 13.3 percent of Buffalo County adults reported their mental health was not good for 10 or more of the past 30 days. This number has increased from 9.1 percent in 2012 indicating an area for improvement in our community.

Another area for improvement is in the increase of adult alcohol use. In 2016, 62.4 percent of Buffalo County adults reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days compared to 55 percent in 2012. In 2015, 57.6 percent of adults in Nebraska and 54 percent of adults in the nation reported alcohol use in the past 30 days.

“We have been focused this year on launching our new collaboratives—HealthyMINDS and Be Well Buffalo County. This data will help build our community’s case for additional grant funds to assist our partners—government, schools, businesses, families, churches and others—in the great work they do,” said Denise Zwiener, Executive Director of Community Partners.

To access results of the 2016 Adult Behavioral Risk Factor survey reports go to the Buffalo County Community Partners' website.

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