Katie Wehr is a spokesman for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and she says that, coincidentally, the most and least healthy counties in Iowa are both on the western border of the state, and in fairly close proximity to one another.
Wehr says the annual rankings aren’t a contest between counties, but more of a tool or guidebook.
The report shows rural counties have higher premature death rates compared to urban counties. Also, rural counties have higher rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty and teen births, and higher numbers of uninsured adults than their urban counterparts. Large urban counties have lower smoking and obesity rates, fewer injury deaths and more residents who attended college.
That website, again, is countyhealthrankings.org.
In addition to Sioux County being ranked number 1, Lyon County came in at number 4, while O’Brien and Osceola came in at number 40 and 42, respectively.