By Max Hrenda
While a range of Carter County’s health risks and shortcomings drew a local health board’s attention Monday, diabetes emerged as a primary concern.
Carter County Health Department Health Educator Tim Bailey briefed the county’s Board of Health Monday on one of the major health problems confronting Carter County — diabetes.
Although Bailey and his office were aware of the county’s high number of cases of diabetes, they involved city and county residents in determining the region’s most urgent health issue, with Bailey conducting a survey to find the community’s gravest concern.
“We need to focus on diabetes,” Bailey said. “I did over 120 surveys, and 85 percent of them came back with something to do with diabetes. That’s straight from the community.”
In 2009, the Center for Disease Control estimated that almost 11 percent of Carter County residents were diabetic.
Though there are several causes of diabetes, one of the main contributors to the county’s high number of cases is its high number of fast food restaurants, Bailey said.
“Sixty percent of our restaurants here in Carter County are fast food,” Bailey said. “You can drive down Elk Avenue and see, but you can’t process it until you start running the numbers.”