4 concerning SC health stats

If you’ve followed me the last few years, you know I’ve moved around and traveled a lot.  I’ve worked in Oregon for a Native American Diabetes team, in PA as a Nutrition Educator for The Food Trust and lived in Finland for 2 years to get my Master's in Public Health Nutrition (school is free there -- no tuition fees!).  

Now I’m living in South Carolina and I’m so excited because I'm not moving anymore!  I can officially say I'm staying put.  Not only does this mean I’m finally growing a garden, but more importantly for me, I have the opportunity to have a greater local impact.  

Today I’m going to discuss 4 concerning health stats I have about my new home, South Carolina.  Now, don’t worry, if you live in a different state, you’ll still find value in the below video (plus, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below -- what's the biggest health concern you have for your community and what's your dream solution for seeing it fixed?).

4 Concerning South Carolina Food Facts

Concerning SC health stat #1:

90.7% of South Carolinians are not eating the recommended amount of fruits and veggies every day (DHEC, 2011 cites CDC 2009) .  

What!?  That statistic tore my stomach to pieces when I first read it and it still shocks me.  90.7%!?  This is a 2009 figure provided by a CDC Indicator Report and the "best" figure I found was 82.6%. (SC Nutrition, 2011)  Either way, we're in really bad shape here.

What's the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables?  Eating 2 or more fruits per day and 3 or more veggies every day.  Next week, I'll show you what that actually looks like on your plate and how you can successfully and deliciously do that every day.

According to a CDC 2009 State Indicator Report, 90.7 percent of adults did not meet the fruit and vegetable recommendation of consuming both two or more fruits per day and three or more vegetables per day.

Concerning SC stat #2

About 66% of South Carolinians have an overweight or obese BMI.  That’s 3 out of every 5 people you see walking on the street.  

This is concerning because excess weight is associated with an increased risk for numerous chronic diseases and it’s expensive for our state.  In 2003, obesity-related medical expenditures were more than $1 billion (SC Nutrition, 2011).

Concerning SC stat #3

Now on an even more specific location, let’s talk about Lexington County, where I live (right across the river from Columbia, the capital) and lump 3 concerns into one:

  • 68% of Lexington county residents had an overweight or obese amount of weight in 2013
  • 12.4% of our residence have type II diabetes and
  • almost 43% of us have high cholesterol (Coordinated, 2013)

Concerning SC health stat #4

Heart disease and cancer are South Carolina’s top 2 killers.  Almost 20,000 people died from heart diease and cancer alone in 2014.  Stroke is our 5th leading cause of death and diabetes is 7th (CDC, 2014).  These diseases can be prevented, improved and even reversed with diet.    

So there you have it.  4 concerning health statistics for the Palmetto State.  

Now I want to hear from you.  Please answer today’s Take Control Now question by clicking ‘comment’ underneath today's question...

Take Control Now Question

“What health concerns do you find most troubling in your state or county?  What would you love to see done to help improve the situation?”

Personally, I dream of my community changing the structure of law that permits corporate dominance over our food environments.  I’d LOVE for fast food and refined junk food to not be surrounding us at every turn.  Now wouldn’t that be something?


DHEC, 2011. South Carolina Obesity Burden Report, 2011. DHEC.  Accessed online, May 2016 at:  https://www.scdhec.gov/Health/docs/Obesity%20Burden%20Report%202011.pdf

CDC, 2016. Stats of the State of South Carolina 2014, Accessed online May 2016 at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/southcarolina.htm

Coordinated Chronic Disease Fact Sheet Lexington County, 2013. State of South Carolina, Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention, County Chronic Disease Fact Sheet November 2014.  Accessed online May 2016 at:  http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/docs/Epi/chronic/Lexington.pdf

South Carolina Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity and Obesity Fact Sheets for Youth and Adults, 2011.  Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Accessed online, May 2016 at: http://www.scdhec.gov/library/cr-009958.pdf