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FEATURE NEWS

NO SKINNY FOR SKY VALLEY: ZIP STUDY SHOWS WE'RE HEAVYWEIGHTS
December 30, 2008




Zip codes in Sky Valley show large rates of obesity.
(EVERETT, WA) -- It’s now official: the Sky Valley area is home to one of the highest rates of obesity in Snohomish County.

The Snohomish County Health District released a new obesity policy brief study on Monday called "Obesity in Our Community" that shows the "fattest" ZIP codes in the county.

The brief updates the local obesity and diabetes report the health district published in 2007 titled, "How Big Are We?" and is intended to help community residents and their elected officials deal with what has emerged in recent years as one of the major health issues facing America.

The six-page report presents community-specific data on obesity, diabetes, and diabetes-related deaths in Snohomish County. It uses 21 local ZIP Code areas to show where the county is disproportionately affected by the nationwide obesity epidemic.

The brief shows the second most obese section of Snohomish County is defined as the rural area that stretches across the eastern portion of the county that includes a major chunk of the Sky Valley. In the zip codes of 98241, 98251, 98252 and 98294 (representing Darrington, Gold Bar, Granite Falls and Sultan respectively) almost 32 percent of the residents – one third of the population essentially - are considered obese.

A portion of Marysville in the 98270 zip code was at the top of the list with nearly 34 percent of the people living in that zip code being identified as obese. Another beefy area is Everett zip code 98204 where almost 30 percent of the residents are listed as obese.

It is now understood why certain zip codes have the greatest number of obese people. It is known however that higher levels of obesity are founding areas where there is more poverty and property values are lower.

The least obese folks live in the zip codes 98020 in Edmonds, 98296 in Snohomish and 98275 in Mukilteo. Those zip codes tend to have higher property values which tend to correlate with lower levels of obesity and they may contain a larger population of people over 65 years of age who are less likely to be obese than a middle-age population.

"Providing comprehensive, accurate, and timely health data to residents and policymakers is a core function of public health," said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of Snohomish Health District in a statement released by the agency. "Improving human health begins with understanding the facts. This brief informs the people and their leaders, so we can start talking about what we must do to keep our communities healthy."

Obesity is determined by a person's weight and height and is defined as carrying enough extra weight to put a person at risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Following are the obesity percentages found in Snohomish County zip codes as reported in the new study "Obesity in Our Community" by the Snohomish County Health District.

Arlington (98223), 27.0
Bothell, Woodinville (98021, 98072, 98077), 21.8
Edmonds (98020), 15.3
Edmonds (98026), 21.1

Everett (98201), 28.6
Everett (98203), 25.4
Everett (98204), 29.6
Everett (98208), 26.7

Lake Stevens (98205, 98258), 24.1
Lynnwood, Brier (98036), 28.2
Marysville (98270), 33.8
Marysville, Tulalip (98271), 28.5
Mill Creek (98012), 20.6

Monroe (98272), 25.4
Mountlake Terrace (98043), 27.5
Mukilteo (98275), 19.0
North Lynnwood (98037), 25.1

Rural Snohomish County (98241, 98251, 98252, 98294), 31.7

Snohomish (98290), 23.4
Snohomish (98296), 17.5
Stanwood (98292), 23.5





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