DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - 7 of the 10 counties with the worst health rankings in the state are in South Georgia, but public health officials said we can change that.
The University of Wisconsin and a non-profit group analyze multiple factors to come up with the annual rankings, everything from obesity and teen pregnancy rates to graduation and crime rates.
Dougherty County ranks 154th out of 159 counties.
Experts at the Southwest District Public Health Office said that one key to changing the trend is focusing on improving the lives of children.
"All these things can make a difference. And sometimes it's helpful to think about starting young and creating healthy lifestyles so that when they're older they'll live longer and have a better quality of life," said District Deputy Health Director Brenda Greene.
It wasn't all bad for South Georgia though, Lee County came in at number 18.
To see where your county ranks, visit the County Health Rankings website here.