For the seventh year in a row, Bronx has been named the unhealthiest county in all of New York.
What does this actually mean?
According to The New York Daily News, the Bronx has ranked last for quality of life, which includes poor physical and mental health and low birthweight. In health factors the concerns were smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.
The county fought back saying that they have hosted a series of health screenings to promote wellness and overall community, but the factor that really brought the county down was their premature death rate.
To determine these statistics, the number of people who have died before the age of 75 years of age was looked over.
According to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, when calculated, the number was 6,900 per every 100,000―the national average is 7,700.
Residents of the Bronx are living longer than they were 15 years ago, but they aren't living as well as they are in other places.
More statistics that had an effect on the rankings were the childhood poverty numbers, the high school graduation rate, and the unemployment rate.
Childhood poverty in the Bronx is 43%, which is nearly double the statewide number. The high school graduation rate is 56% compared to the statewide number percentage of 77%, and finally, the unemployment which stands are 9.8% compared to the 6.3% statewide.
As reported by Crain's New York Business, for the last seven years, the Bronx has unfortunately taken this title. Something needs to change. But who should Bronxites hold accountable for that change? Mayor de Blasio?
Or Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who, you might remember, put de Blasio on DeBlastio for his response and mishandling of the Legionnaire's crisis last year; Diaz, who you might also have noticed has been Borough President every single year that the Bronx has been the unhealthiest county in New York.
Seven years, the same headline. Seven years, the same elected official we might have wanted to demand accountability from.
City officials have said that it's going to take time to come back from this. In an effort to raise awareness, Diaz announced #Not62, The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx.
Diaz hopes that by 2020, well after he (probably) makes a run at de Blasio's job, the campaign will have built a solid foundation that allows multiple platforms to discuss social, economic, and environmental issues.
Within this campaign there are about 70 organizations, including hospitals and community centers, who are working together to help promote healthier eating, additional exercise and safe sex programs.
With all of the above hopefully in the works to solve this reoccurring issue, we can't help but wonder why the city, Diaz's borough specifically, is continuing to take steps in the complete opposite direction, focusing more on development rather than general health.
For example, Time Out, reported last week that Saks Off 5th has signed a 10-year-lease at its first-ever Bronx location.
The department store, which is set to open next summer, is known for its bargains that you can't find at their mother store, Saks Fifth Avenue.
But that's a small thing. That's nothing compared to a slapdash plan for affordable housing developments that would hopefully offset the rapid pace at which rents are already rising, or the decidedly egregious plans to build a wholly gentrified "Piano District."
Of course, Diaz is a huge "Gentrification Denier." So, maybe, despite the optics of the situation―a million steps taken towards what will ultimately dislodge and dissolve the cultural identity and history of the Bronx as we know it, don't exactly define the situation.
Let's hope not. Because the reality of the situation is far worse.
Seven years of the same results with only the hope that four years from now the health of the Bronx will improve...
But hey, at least there's #Not62, right?
It's a step in the right direction, right? And not just just a way— nope. It’s just a long overdue initiative that may or may not help Bronxites at all, but will at least make Diaz look as though he’s deeply concerned.
But then again, maybe to Diaz, someone who doesn't believe in the reality he's developing, this whole health crisis doesn't actually exist either.[via Daily News New York] [Feature Image Courtesy Travelettes]