Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

HERO
HERO

The Appalachian Regional Commission is examining “bright spots” in health care, and one Alabama county made the list.

Hale County was included in a report of ten case studies where researchers from the Appalachian Regional Commission headed to areas with much better than average health statistics. They tried to find out why those counties were healthier, to see what other struggling areas can learn.

If Alabama were to expand its Medicaid program, more than 200,000 people in the state would gain health insurance.

That’s according to a new report from the Urban Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They find that Alabama would see a drop from just over 17% to just over 12% of the population uninsured. The state would also see an additional $1.5 billion each year in spending from the federal government.

Statistics show about 16 percent of low-income Alabama preschoolers are obese, and the problem is getting worse.

A report based on 2014 statistics from the Women, Infants and Children feeding program shows that 16.3 percent of children ages 2 to 4 in the program were obese.   

That's an increase from about 14 percent of children in 2000, when Alabama was ranked 18th nationally in the obesity statistics.

The state is now ranked 10th nationally, and statistics show the problem is getting worse. Nationally, the obesity rate about 2- to 4-year-olds is on the decline.

VORTEX
NOAA

Dozens of the country’s top meteorologists are gathering in north Alabama for a massive research project focused on severe storms and tornadoes.

It’s called the Verification of Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment, or VORTEX Southeast. The program hopes to allow researchers to better understand how the climate and environment in the Southeast affects how tornadoes form and how strong they get. Scientists also want to improve their ability to forecast these storms.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is contesting reports that two Alabama counties rank among the nation’s top three for lead levels in children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2014 compiled by Vox shows Houston County, Alabama having the highest rate of child lead poisoning in the country. The data shows seven in twelve Houston County children having lead levels high enough to qualify as lead poisoning. Dallas County ranked third in the country in CDC lead data, with seven in twenty children qualifying for lead poisoning.

istockphoto

A new report by two public health groups says Alabama has the eighth highest adult obesity rate in the nation.

The report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 32.4 percent of Alabama's adults are obese.

Mississippi and West Virginia tied for first place at 35.1 percent. Colorado had the lowest rate at 21.3 percent.

In Alabama, the two groups found that the obesity rate for white adults was 29.8 percent. It was 27.3 percent for Latino adults and 41.8 percent for black adults.