New Study Maps County Health

Study Looks At County Health Factors By Neighborhood

Health organizations and planning groups are using a new detailed study that looks at health factors throughout San Diego County -- street by street.

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If you're looking for a good example of healthy living, you can start with Enrique Flores and his daughter, Eva.

Flores and his daughter ride their bicycles together two to three times a week. The duo starts at Rohr Park in Bonita and bikes their way around.

"I can spend more time with my dad," Eva said.

Flores said, "This park [here] is like a paradise for us."

However, not everyone has close access to improve health. A study called the Healthy Communities Atlas aims to change that.

The study, which is more than 80 pages long, looks at several factors, including:

-- physical activity and transportation -- injury prevention -- nutrition -- air quality

The study used census data and existing statistics to map the entire county.

*Click here to read the study.

The study shows about 30 different maps, each analyzing a different health-related factor. For example, one map shows which areas have access to parks, while another map shows which communities have access to walkable sidewalks. Both maps can be placed next to each other to find which areas don't have access to either.

"What this is going to do is give us a guide for spending those dollars more effectively on programs that will really be beneficial," said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts.

Roberts said the data still has not been analyzed to figure out the "most vulnerable communities," but he said county health and planning groups can use this information to work side by side.

"I like to work with the schools for the Safe Walks to Schools program. This gives us a better idea where there's holes, where the sidewalks may not exist," said Roberts.

The Flores family said anything to get San Diegans moving is a step in the right direction.

The study is part of the county's "Live Well San Diego!" program, which is a 10-year strategy to improve health in the county.

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