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Columbus County rated state's unhealthiest

READ MORE: Columbus County rated state's unhealthiest

Columbus County has been named the unhealthiest county in the state. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report today on the overall health of counties in all 50 states.

The counties were measured by how healthy people are and how long they live.

Good ol' country fried cookin' is one of the best parts of a rural community, but it's also what helped stamp Columbus County as the unhealthiest county in North Carolina. Physical environment, exercise, tobacco use and diet are some of the factors used to rank the counties.

"I think a lot of people around here are, they were raised in the country and that's the way we've always ate," said Roberta Sykes, owner of Roberta's Country Kitchen in Columbus County.

Columbus County's health director says lack of transportation in Columbus County keeps many people from going to the doctor. Unemployment also makes some people less active and leaves them without health insurance.

County leaders met today to look for healthier options.

Bladen County also ranks among the unhealthiest in the state, while New Hanover is among the best.

To see the whole study, visit

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.





Columbus County has the BEST cheese burgers I have eaten within a 700 mile radius. No, I don't eat them every day, or every week, but every chance I get to leave Brunswick County and go to Columbus County, you can bet I get a couple of burgers before returning home. I am about 5 - 10 pounds over weight, my blood levels are normal and so is my blood pressure. Like most country boys I love burgers, grits and biscuits and hate bagels. I don't know about you, but I plan on dying someday, and no matter what kind of physical or mental condition you may be in, I doubt you can escape the end of life either, unless the rapture happens first. I just tend to enjoy myself when I sit down at the table unlike a lot of other people.



There are two aspects to health

Physical and mental.

In regards to the latter I'd rather be in Our Place Restaurant in Whiteville eating the best fried chicken on Earth with those "unhealthy" Columbus County residents, than rubbing elbows with the "healthy" residents in Wake, Mecklenberg, or New Hanover County who are packed in like sardines and get to face rush-hour twice a day. Stress will kill you faster than fried okra.

You have to balance happiness with longevity.

In that regard, I'll pass on the tofu, take that one-pound Porterhouse instead, and run an extra few miles tomorrow morning.

BTW, regardless of county, why would an unemployed person get LESS active? If you can't work that leaves you more time to work out!

Most unhealthiest county in NC!

I for one am embarrassed to say that I live in the most unhealthiest county in NC. I know I am not alone when I say this is an issue that is in dire need of addressing. So why have we become the most unhealthy in NC? I can think of several reasons why the state of our county’s health has continued to plummet. Obesity is one of the issues that lies at hand. It’s true that it is an individual decision to make healthy lifestyle choices and I myself strive to do so. However look around… Just how many places are there around here that serve healthy alternatives. Not many. Down south southern food and fast food chains have far outnumbered the competition. I understand we southerners love our country eating but it’s past time we start thinking and eating more healthy. On to the next issue.. Prescription drugs. As one who is very aware of the staggering number of prescriptions that are written daily in this county I am appalled that so many individuals are on prescriptions meds. It’s understandable for the elderly but I feel there are many younger individuals that are abusing the system. Not to mention those individuals whom are on several prescriptions at once. It’s complete insanity how many different drugs some people in this county are on. In my opinion a lot of it does indeed go back to healthy lifestyle choices. Even though we are limited in this county when it comes to healthy food we ca n always cook healthier. It’s no secret that good eating habits and daily exercise along with supplementation of nutrients our bodies can’t absorb thru food alone will do a body wonders. But people want a quick fix and turn to meds to solve their problems. Whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally. Now that the government is responsible for our nation’s healthcare I am without doubt that things are only going to get much worst not only for our county but the nation as a whole. The number of prescriptions written will rise and the healthcare system will be abused more than ever before.

Backbone of Columbus County

If you are so embarrassed to live in the most unhealthy county of NC...MOVE! Why don't you go and talk to people who have spent their whole lives here. Why you go down country roads and look behind houses you see horses and farms. Who do you expect keeps that farm up and running smooth. It's our sweat, blood, and tears puttin food on the table I don't see you coming to pay my bills every month. We may not be the healthiest county but we take care of our own. Walk a day in the shoes of the backbone workers for this county then you may judge us.

And just last night, before

And just last night, before I read this news about Columbus County, the county seat of Tater City, I was plannin' on openin' an all-you-can-eat joint called Pigs-a-Poppin'!

All you Columbus County gourmands, something dangerously fattening is comin' your way. Keep on the lookout for the event of the year: the grand openin' of PIGS-A-POPPIN ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT PIG PARLOUR! Hallelulah, and pass the fatback!



Another number one accalade

Another number one accalade for Columbus County. We Columbus Co. residents should be so proud. What's next, number one in lets say,.VD or rabies. We can only blame ourselves. WE are quickly becoming the least desirable area in the state. We are better than this and we all must strive to better. I will admit that I don't have the ability or power to change much of anything except myself. I intend to pray for Columbus County and the sorry state of affairs of the country.

Columbus County unhealthy just because of food?!

LOL I saw the teaser on WWAY yesterday and I predicted it would be us! I'm from Columbus County, and I think we could use some defendin'. All of us grew up with Grandma's cooking, which involved lard, pork, and other kinds of goodies. Not that I'm complaining because I love my grandma's cooking. I think a big reason as to why we are at the bottom is because of the lack of healthier restaurants in our county. I mean, look around at all the restaurants we have. It is a fast food mecca here in Columbus County. If some of our friendly folks in government and those who own all the land in Columbus County(will not mention any names) would try to make Col. Co. look more appealing to restaurant chains, I think we would put a good step forward. This would bring restaurants who offered healthier alternatives.

Another reason why we are so unhealthy is our economy. Isn't it funny that we are considered the poorest county in the state AND we are the unhealthiest? All of us are working so much that all we have time for is to run by a drive-thru and crash when we get home. Our economy is so bad here, that people have to hustle to make ends meet. Many do not have time to go work out or to fix a healthy dinner. Folks are too tired to work out and too broke to put a little more money into the grocery budget to buy healthier things. If the economy was better, we would be better. I took a look at the study on, and found that our social and economic factors were included. Geez....Single Parent households 11%, high school graduation 66%, Unemployment 8%...According to WWAY, New Hanover County is ranked among the best. Why? Have you been to New Hanover County lately? I understand that they are in kind of an economic slump too, but look around. The economy over there is WAY better than ours. They have more restaurants that serve healthier foods. New Hanover County has more parks and more places to work out. There are more opportunities for people there than here in Columbus County.

A final reason why our county is the unhealthiest. We have many senior citizens in our area. Not that this is bad, because I love the older folks. These people had to work in some of the worst conditions when they were younger to make a dollar. Many of them do not know how to even read. They ate what they raised, which was a lot of pork. Many smoked what they raised to: Tobacco. Bless their hearts, they worked so much, that as they've gotten older, their bodies just couldn't work like it used to. I am a nurse, and mostly who I've worked with is senior citizens in the hospital setting. All that hard work is telling on them now. The economy is not helping our senior citizens because many have to choose whether to buy medicine or food. I know of many senior citizens that have gotten major cuts in the Social Security checks, and now they are really strapped. Have you noticed all of the pill sales going up around the area? Some older folks may have started selling their pills. And why not?! They have no money and the bills are piling up from all of the doctor visits. I am not condoning drugs and the selling of drugs, I am just simply saying that if our older people are to survive all of this, then someone needs to step in and stand up for them. Our older folks have worked enough, and they ought to be able to be people of leisure when they are older, not workin' at Mickey D's because they can't afford not to work.

I didn't mean to write all of this. I guess I read the story on and found some things that they needed to add in. Sure it's our cookin' that has some to do with it. Lack of transportation for people to get back and forth to the doctor does too. However, our lack of healthier restaurants, bad economy, and older folks who deserve better are the biggest reasons. The economy and the way we eat were mentioned by WWAY, but I felt that it needed to be explored. Am I offended by the study? No. I figured it would be us. But when you factor so many things against us, why wouldn't be us?

Reasons for being unhealthy?

Your "reasons" are nothing more than excuses. No one is forcing you to eat fast food. To say Columbus County needs "healthier" restaurants is not a reason.

You choose what to eat, apparently you've made some poor choices.

Stop blaming everyone for your poor choices...they didn't make them, you did.

Are your really surprized?

Look at all the funding other county's have gotten from Our Great Senator Soles to promote better heath care and healthy living. Better hospitals, jobs, parks, etc.

Columbus county could have been a leader, however for over 40 years our senator has left us out or provided the minimum to our community.

I personally am glad to see him go. Let put someone in office that will bring back to Columbus County what we need.

Better jobs, education, health care.

Columbus County

Apparently we like electing self-serving politians. They know how ignorant we are. We like paying crooked politians,taking lots of illegal drugs,eating lots and lots of fried foods, smoking lots of those good cigarettes that once made the county thrive,etc.etc.etc. We in Coumbus Co. like doing all these horrible things. Just ask any one of our $1500.00/month county commissioners.

See Food Restaurants in Columbus County

There are two Dales Seafood restaurants in Columbus County--one in Whiteville and one at Lake Waccamaw.

They are tremendously popular with the local lard butts. Watching diners shovel down large seafood platters is a terrible sight to see.

The last time I was at Dales in Lake Waccamaw, a church busload of senior citizens pulled in, and when the passengers exited, I saw that every single one was grossly overweight. A few were morbidly obese and needed assistance in walking.

Horrors! I shudder at the memory!

Yes, Columbus County is in desperate need of health prevention instruction. Now!

Seafood restaurants

And how long have you been around Columbus County. There are 3 Dale's Seafood around. Tabor City, Whiteville and Lake Waccamaw. Everbody in Columbus County knows that if you even live here.

Takes one to know one..

You say: "There are two Dales Seafood restaurants in Columbus County--one in Whiteville and one at Lake Waccamaw.

They are tremendously popular with the local lard butts"

Then you say: "The last time I was at Dales in Lake Waccamaw"

hmmm, I guess you fit in w/the lard butts....

To "Takes One to Know One"

To "Takes One to Know One" by LardyLady

As a matter of fact, I was overweight last summer, but I started eating sensibly and exercising, and I am now down to a healthy size.

Love Dales Seafood! But when I order, I select broiled items and decline the hushpuppies. In addition, I drink water with lemon instead of "sweet tea," the holy communion drink of Columbus Countyites.

Perhaps you should consider doing the same, Ms. LardyLady (with all due respect).

Hilarious Comments on This Page

My compliments to the writers of some of the amusing posts on this topic. Too wicked!

Thanks for the laughs.