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Financial News and Opinion Site Ranks Joplin Least Healthy City - KOAM TV 7

Financial News and Opinion Site Ranks Joplin Least Healthy City In Missouri

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A financial news and opinion website ranks Joplin as the least healthy metropolitan city in the state. The study is based on factors like adult obesity, premature death, and the smoking rate. 

The 24/7 Wall Street website says the city of Joplin Missouri has a 5 percent higher smoking rate than the national average, along with having the largest obese population in the 8 metropolitan cities of the state.

Although it can take a push, the moms I met at Cunningham Park are trying to set healthy habits for their young kids.

"If you don't, they tend to like all the junk food" says Sharon Brumley, who's daughters are all in dance and spending their afternoon playing on the playground. 

"She loves her fruits and vegetables as and it just kind of grows up into a teenager so i think it helps a whole lot" says Charly Hughes, who's with her kids and celebrating her son's birthday with some outdoor time.

These moms are doing what they can to give their kids healthy lives.

"What we've noticed in this practice and what we've talked about for a long time, we are seeing younger and younger populations come in worse coronary disease. My youngest heart attack for I had is a 24 year old patient, we've seen people though that are in their late teens now though that are coming in with advanced coronary disease" says Dr. Ryan Longnecker, a cardiologist from Freeman Hospital.

Doctors say smoking and being obese don't just make people prone to heart issues. They might also shape the population's life span.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if down the road..what we would find is the life expectancy has goes down as opposed to up, just based upon those findings" says Dr. Longnecker

"I do think that a lot of it has to do with a lot of people here in Joplin, a lot of them are not educated enough I don't feel like there are enough adult activities to keep people active" says Brumley.

"We have a different type of population, we have a strong willed population..we've survived a tornado. We've survived other natural disasters, and people do kind of take it upon themselves to take care of themselves" says Dr. Longnecker.

He also suggests everybody takes it upon themselves to try to eat a healthy diet and get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

The study also finds that some of the health problems could be from 14 percent of the Joplin population being uninsured and not being able to get medical attention.

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