Roundup: Florida’s ‘Healthiest’ Counties are Ranked; It’s Possible to be Allergic to One Tree Nut, But Not Others

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March 31, 2017

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The annual health ranking of Florida’s 67 counties that measures such factors as smoking rates, obesity, physical inactivity and “food environment” has been released and South Florida does fairly well, with Palm Beach County registering at No. 8 and Monroe County at No. 10.

St. Johns County in Northeast Florida ranked as the healthiest in the state, while Union County — located southwest of Jacksonville — ranked last. Miami-Dade ranked No. 23, while Broward came in at No. 19. The updated list marked the seventh annual county health rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which partners with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to gather data from communities around the country.

Overall, Florida’s premature death rates from 1997 to 2014 have seen improvements, while only two counties seeing higher rates and the rest recording no change in rates.

While Miami-Dade ranked 23rd overall, it fared better under the category of “health behaviors,” registering No. 4 with rates tied to adult smoking, obesity and physical inactivity lower, compared to the state’s overall health behavior rates.

“The data compiled in the rankings serve as a reminder that many factors beyond health care influence one’s health, and the county profiles help communities determine whether their local efforts are improving the health of their residents,” said Florida’s State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip in a statement.

Much of the health data used to compile the ranking of counties are also used by the state and county officials to “identify priority issues, develop and implement strategies for action, and establish accountability to ensure measurable health improvement is achieved,” according to the Florida Department of Health.

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It’s Possible to be Allergic to One Tree Nut, But Not Others

The prevailing school of thought is that if you’re allergic to peanuts, then you should stay away from tree nuts. A new study says that may not be the case.

Moreover, being allergic to one tree nut doesn’t mean you’re allergic to all.

A study published this week in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that out of a sample of 109 people allergic to a specific tree nut, like

Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews, more than 50 percent did not have an allergic reaction to other kinds of nuts.

When it comes to those people who are allergic to peanuts, which are legumes and not nuts, researchers learned that almost none of them had tree nut allergies.

The study’s authors said that it is more accurate to be tested with an oral food challenge, involving the consumption of an increasingly larger amount of a particular food over a period of time, instead of a single skin or blood test. Researchers based their findings on data from oral food challenges at the

University of Michigan Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology clinics from 2007 through 2015.

“The findings show that there is a wider margin of error than previously thought [with blood and skin tests],” lead author Dr. Christopher Couch told HealthDay. “A positive skin test and/or blood test to a nut does not always indicate a true allergy.”

Researchers urge individuals with nut allergies to take the oral food challenge with an allergist’s supervision after seeing their doctor.

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Baptist Health Partners with the Ludlam Trail for ‘Yoga in the Park’

Baptist Health South Florida is partnering with Ludlam Trail, which creates a new 6.2 mile, urban park and green space through the heart of Miami-Dade. County. The two organizations plan to increase access to exercise for the surrounding neighborhoods.

This Saturday, marks the first of a series of complimentary health and wellness activities for the community. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., all are welcome to join Greenmonkey® Yoga in the Park at A.D. Barnes Park.

“We are an advocate for open space projects as part of our commitment to promoting health and wellness in South Florida,” said Brian Keeley, president and chief executive officer, Baptist Health South Florida. “Our collaboration with Ludlam Trail allows the community to access services and resources that foster greater well-being by providing physical activity in an outdoor space while also building a sense of community.”

Activities scheduled include:
• Every Saturday (starting on April 1) from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at A.D. Barnes Park – Greenmonkey® Yoga in the Park powered by Baptist Health.
• Every Wednesday (starting on April 5) from 6 pm to 7 p.m. at William H. Kerdyk Jr. Park – Greenmonkey® Yoga in the Park powered by Baptist Health.

Previously a railroad track, The Ludlam Trail will contain a bicycle and pedestrian path that will engage more than 30,000 residents and connect directly to five schools, six parks, alternative transit and recreation amenities.

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