OWEGO (WBNG) -- The Tioga County Public Health Department announced results for their Community Health Assessment. The survey is mandated by New York State, and is required to be given every five years.
More than 800 Tioga County residents completed the survey. The findings show there has been an increase in obesity and substance use amongst children. Specifically, nearly 30 percent of residents report eating less than one fruit per day, and 25 percent consume at least one sugary drink daily.
While the numbers are not extraordinarily different from previous assessments, current statistics are causing public health officials to take action.
"That's really where some of our concern lies. We are obviously concerned about adults in our county, but really looking at the children in our county, their health, and how we can lay a better foundation for them to have a healthier future," said Tioga County Public Health Department Senior Public Health Educator Kylie Holochak.
In response to the updated numbers, the public health department has released their improvement plan, detailing issues to address, including children's health. One of the areas the public health department focuses on is dental health, hosting services through their mobile dental unit, accessible for families and children.
The improvement plan will also address women's health, mental health, and substance use disorders. The assessment addresses multiple factors, including access to care, health outcomes, and physical environments.