A national report released on Tuesday that ranks how healthy the country's residents are placed Sacramento and San Joaquin counties in the mid-30s, with one being the best. That honor went to Marin County.
The county health rankings tabulated by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks at how healthy residents are in the United States.
The survey breaks down each state county-by-county. Sacramento was ranked 31, while San Joaquin placed 37. Both appear to have been marked down for a large number of high-ozone air pollution days, a high teen birth rate, a high number of preventable hospital stays and a violent crime rate.
Factors that influence health in the study include smoking, excessive drinking, availability of primary care physicians, air pollution and the number of fast food restaurants.
Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, which prepared the report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, called the rankings "a template, a kind of Polaroid photograph" of community health.
Researchers hope the data, culled from a variety of sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the census and the U.S. Department of Education, will lead to specific changes such as smoking restrictions, more bike paths and access to fresh food that will make communities healthier.