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Different Images in Snapshot of KY Health Challenges

PHOTO:  While a statewide poll has found some regional differences on health related issues, adults across Kentucky show near unanimous support for requiring school kids to have at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.  Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: While a statewide poll has found some regional differences on health related issues, adults across Kentucky show near unanimous support for requiring school kids to have at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
July 21, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The majority of Kentuckians want a statewide smoke-free law, tobacco free school campuses and mandatory physical education for school children.

The snap shot of Kentuckians' views on health-related issues was commissioned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The organization's president, Susan Zepeda, says she was surprised how similar people's views were, but there were some regional differences.

"Folks in Louisville had an easier time of purchasing healthy foods than some of their neighbors,” she points out. “Folks in northern Kentucky were more likely to be eating the daily amounts of fruits and vegetables.

“Adults out in eastern Kentucky were more likely to have been offered help to quit smoking."

One thing people in every region agreed on, almost unanimously, was the need for children to have at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day at school.

Zepeda says that's been slow to happen in Kentucky's schools, but there are some innovative programs in place to incorporate physical activity into the academic curriculum.

"Some school districts have stepped up and mandated recess and even said that recess can't be withheld from a wiggly kid in the classroom as a punishment for being wiggly in the classroom," she says.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll found stark regional differences on the level of support for the Affordable Care Act.

Four out of 10 people surveyed in the greater Louisville area supported the idea, but only two out of 10 in eastern Kentucky. Yet, Medicaid expansion, which was made possible by the Affordable Care Act, got overwhelming support across the state.

Zepeda says she was surprised at the intensity of the positive response.

"People don't like the name, but they like the provisions as they've come into place," she says.
Statewide, eight out of 10 Kentuckians were in favor of offering Medicaid to more people.



Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY