Putnam County ranked the best or lowest of the three (Van Wert, Allen and Putnam) in adults who are obese at 31 percent
Putnam County ranked the best or lowest of the three (Van Wert, Allen and Putnam) in adults who are obese at 31 percent
Staff Report

Allen, Putnam and Van Wert counties all improved in the County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Allen saw the most improvement moving from 42nd to 35th; Putnam moved from fourth to second; and Van Wert, 27th to 26th.
Mercer County was number six; Auglaize County was 15th; and Paulding County was 55th. Geauga County was ranked as the healthiest county in the state while Scioto County finished 88th.

Counties were ranked according to certain criteria. Premature death rates, poor or fair health, poor physical or mental health days and low birthweight were considered as health outcomes.

In the health factors section, Allen ranked 74th of the 88 counties; Putnam was sixth; and Van Wert County ranked 17th-best overall.

Allen County ranked the worst of the three in health behaviors at 83rd in the state. This criteria includes adult smoking and obesity, excessive drinking and sexually transmitted infections. Putnam ranked ninth and Van Wert, 46th.

In Putnam County, the percent of adults who smoke is half that of the state of Ohio and Allen County, both at 22 percent. Van Wert was 21 percent. However, 22 percent of adults take part in excessive drinking in the county, while in the state it is 18 percent. Allen County was at 16 percent and Van Wert at 13 percent.

Putnam County also ranked the best or lowest of the three in adults who are obese at 31 percent. Allen was at 37 percent and Van Wert at 35 percent.

Allen County was also ranked 78th in social and economic factors include high school graduation, unemployment, children in poverty compared to Putnam in 7th and Van Wert in 21st.

Allen County was also more than double Putnam and Van Wert and 17 percent higher than the state in children in single-parent households.

Allen and Van Wert counties saw the most improvement in their physical environments. Allen moved from 74th in 2012 to 55th and Van Wert saw the biggest gain going from 50th to ninth. Putnam County ranked lower than last year at 29th compared to 25th in 2012.