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Marin Ranked As Healthiest County In California For 5th Year Running

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- For the fifth consecutive year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has ranked Marin the healthiest county in California.

According to the 2014 rankings, Marin County ranks No. 1 in life expectancy statewide. The ranking is attributed to Marin County's physical and social environment that is tailor made for those seeking a healthy lifestyle.

One-third of Marin County's residents live within walking distance of a county park or preserve and Marin County benefits from decades of community efforts to preserve open space, promote physical activity and healthy eating and encourages non-motorized transportation methods, according to the report.

"There's plenty to celebrate here, but the rankings mask some real differences in health status between communities within Marin," said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.
In some school districts half the children are overweight or obese of overweight, Willis said.

Marin County was in the bottom 50 percent in the rates for excessive drinking, the drug poisoning mortality rate, diabetic monitoring of Medicare enrollees and the percentage of workers with a long commute, according to the report.

Almost one in four Marin adults surveyed reported binge drinking in the last 30 days, one of the highest in the state, according to the foundation's report.

An average of 32 Marin County residents died each year from drug overdoses between 2004 and 2010, and the majority of those deaths involved prescription drugs, according to the report.

Marin County was in the top five percent in a dozen categories that include a low teen birth rate, low premature death rate, high high-school graduation rate, low violent crime rate, low percent of unemployment and low percent of uninsured adults.

In the Bay Area, Santa Clara County ranked third healthiest and San Mateo County was the fourth healthiest.

The health rankings coincide with the California Franchise Tax Board's 2012 rankings of the counties with the highest joint tax return median income.

Marin ranked first, Santa Clara ranked third and San Mateo ranked fourth among state counties regarding joint median income.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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