Editorial: Live strong, live better | CraigDailyPress.com

Editorial: Live strong, live better

Pick a word to describe Moffat County’s rankings in a recent health report: failing, embarrassing, regrettable, unfortunate.

Those are just a few, and the more politically correct ones, that come to mind.

But there’s another word that certainly can’t be applied — surprising — and another that certainly can — crisis.

The health rankings, put before the community front and center on today’s front page, indicate Moffat County’s physical and mental health in many areas is among the worst in the state.

In fact, Moffat County indeed ranks last in one specific category, healthy behaviors, which includes smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and drinking.

Overall, our community ranks 50th in its health profile, out of 59 counties in the state.

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Other than the county’s ranking of 11th in physical environment, there’s little in the report for our community to be proud of. There’s little in the report that shouldn’t make us embarrassed about our profile put before the rest of the state.

So often we talk in our community about having a positive image to out-of-town visitors.

Perhaps now we should begin talking just as much about making a good first impression in areas that aren’t tied directly to dollars and cents.

Don’t misunderstand the editorial board — the report isn’t a bad thing.

We’re lucky Lisa Brown, chief executive officer of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, brought the report before the Moffat County Commission earlier this month, shedding light and public debate on an important issue.

Consider this a wake-up call, and a much needed one at that.

Many in our community have known for a long time now that Moffat County isn’t exactly brimming with healthy people. But, this issue has mostly been ignored or rarely talked about.

That’s not so easy to do now that the report is circulating.

Though efforts will most likely be made by the VNA and The Memorial Hospital in Craig to address shortcomings in the report, the editorial board doesn’t believe it falls to those health care providers or government or any organization to bolster the healthier ways of residents.

No, board members believe rectifying the problem is a responsibility that falls on individuals and families.

Adults have to make a conscious decision to not only improve their own lives, but also set a positive example for their children.

There’s simply no valid excuse for living in a recreation-rich environment like we have here in Moffat County, in one of the most beautiful and natural settings on the planet, and be this unhealthy.

If you need help to get started on the path to a healthier lifestyle, there’s no shortage of professionals able and willing to help get you started.

But, they can’t do the work or make the choice for you.

That falls to you.

The good news is our community’s health profile can’t get much worse.

We’re close to rock bottom as it is. Now it’s time to make the climb up.

Will it be hard? Yes.

Is it impossible? Not by a long shot.

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Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Alisa Corey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Dave Pike

— Community representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

Our View

Moffat County’s health data contained in a recent report is nothing short of alarming and is a black eye on an otherwise good community. Behaviors like smoking, drinking, and exercise have to improve, if not for adults then for setting a positive example for children. Improvement boils down to individual decisions, so begin today by taking the right steps to live better, healthier, and ideally longer.

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