New data released Wednesday showed that much of the Central Valley is ahead of California — in unhealthy habits. If unchecked, health advocates said, they contribute to diseases responsible for four of every five deaths in the state.
More than 7,300 stores across California were surveyed by various health-oriented departments and agencies in 58 counties from July to October last year, and the results could be considered shocking.
In the Central Valley, residents are more obese, have a higher percentage — including minors — of smokers, and have nearly 10 percent more stores that sell flavored tobacco products within 1,000 feet of schools than other state regions.
The results in Madera were similar to the Valley, if not as pronounced in certain areas: 16.4 percent of adults who smoke (vs. 13.8 percent statewide); 12 percent youth smokers (vs. 10.5 percent); 65.2 percent of adults overweight or obese (59.8); and 66.7 percent of stores that sell candy, mint, or liquor-flavored tobacco products near schools (75.3)...