McDowell CHOICES creates program to promote family health in southern West Virginia

A West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences program that aims to increase physical activity for students in McDowell County will kick off a new wellness challenge that will help McDowell County families lead healthy lifestyles. Read More...

Download a Fit Family Challenge Flyer Today! Click Here

The goal of McDowell CHOICES is to improve physical activity opportunities for citizens of McDowell County, WV in school and family settings.

Population Health

  • According to the Robert Wood Johnson’s 2012 Health Rankings, McDowell County ranked last (55th) in the state relative to health outcomes (how healthy a county is) and health factors (what influences the health of the county).
  • The premature death rate of McDowell County citizens (18,680 per 100,000 population) is over three times the national benchmark (5,466), and two-fold that of WV (9,587), placing McDowell last among the 55 counties in the state.
  • McDowell is ranked 53th in morbidity, a general measure of perceived quality of life, with a reported 35% of residents citing poor or fair health (County Health Rankings, 2012).

Children's Health

  • Surveillance program that identifies children and their families at risk for heart disease and diabetes, reported that 46.5% of 5th grade students statewide were either overweight or obese (2011-2012 CARDIAC).
  • In McDowell County alone the rate was 58%.
  • Hypertension, which is most commonly observed in obese children, was reported in 20.3% children statewide and 31% in McDowell County (2011-2012 CARDIAC).


Robert Wood Johnson's 2013 Health Ranking | Link
TheCARDIAC Project | Link
CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (CDC BRFSS) | Link
WV Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (WV BRFSS) | Link