Men of Kauai are leaders when it comes to being active

Men of Kauai County, take a bow.

That’s right. The men.

According to the July edition of Population Health Metrics, Kauai County was ranked one of the top 10 counties in the U.S. where men were considered to be most physically active.

Kauai County landed in the sixth spot among counties for percent of men reporting any physical activity (71.6 percent) in 2011.

That shouldn’t be any big surprise, considering the many choices we have here for hiking, swimming, golfing, paddle boarding, surfing, boating, fishing and hunting, not to mention walking, running, biking, bowling and an array of exercises.

With so much to see and do, we men have to stay in tip-top shape.

OK. So what’s the story behind this study?

Here’s the background: “Obesity and physical inactivity are associated with several chronic conditions, increased medical care costs, and premature death.”

Can’t argue with that.

Experts researched the life expectancy for males and females and the prevalence of physical activity and obesity in U.S. counties.

OK, now this is a bit tough to follow, but here’s the method they used:

“We used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based random-digit telephone survey that covers the majority of United States counties, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. About 3.7 million adults aged 20 years or older participated in the BRFSS from 2000 to 2011, and 30,000 adults aged 20 or older participated in NHANES from 1999 to 2010. We calculated body mass index from self-reported weight and height in the BRFSS and adjusted for self-reporting bias using NHANES. We calculated self-reported physical activity — both any physical activity and physical activity meeting recommended levels — from self-reported data in the BRFSS. We used validated small area estimation methods to generate estimates of obesity and physical activity prevalence for each county annually for 2001 to 2011.”

Whew. Got all that?

I guess, in a nutshell, when they were all done interviewing and measuring and adjusting, the men of Kauai County came out to be the type who get out and about, who get things done, who by the very nature of were they live and what they do, tend to be active and I might as well say it, we’re in darn good shape.

In case you were wondering, the nine other counties where men were considered most active were Teton, Wyo.; Summit, Utah; Routte, Colo.; Summit, Colo.; Jefferson, Wash.; Nevada City, Calif.; La Plata, Colo.; Wasatch, Utah; and Los Alamos, N.M.

But bottom line, what does all this mean?

Here’s what Population Health Metrics says on its website:

“Our study showed that increased physical activity alone has a small impact on obesity prevalence at the county level in the U.S. Indeed, the rise in physical activity levels will have a positive independent impact on the health of Americans as it will reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”

That’s good. Sounds like men of Kauai are doing more than their fair share.

But wait. Before we take another bow and begin boasting to our wives about how fortunate they are to have us, the folks at Population Health Metrics added this line:

“Other changes such as reduction in caloric intake are likely needed to curb the obesity epidemic and its burden.”

Wait a minute. They tossed in caveat in at the very end.

Basically, they’re saying we have to stop eating so much.

Now, that’s going to be tough.

Well, men of Kauai. Let’s see if we can lead the way here, too.

Perhaps at the conclusion of another study in 10 years, we can get take another bow.

If not, well, with all that physical activity, we’ve got to eat, right?


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