A survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranks Kern County as one of the unhealthiest places in the state. It ranks us 52 out of 58 counties partly because of our high levels of obesity and smoking, but researcher Matt Trujillo says there are other factors that are keeping us sick. We got bad marks for our high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes and smoking, and Trujillo thinks minorities are most affected. But the report also says we are improving our graduation rates, air quality, access to health insurance and screenings for preventable diseases.

Kelli Pierce