Lubbock’s Board of Health on Friday approved plans to educate the City Council on what could be the 10 top public health challenges in the city.
The board plans to present the top 10 list highlighting obesity, access to care and sexually transmitted disease to city leaders at an upcoming council meeting, likely in June.
The report, prepared by board member Brian Carr, shows Lubbock to be above state averages in obesity, smoking and adult hypertension and advocates such non-revenue driven steps as intervention through coordinating public actives and utilizing volunteers for outreach programs.
“This doesn’t commit us to anything, it just says ‘These are the areas we’re going to look at’,” Carr said.
Carr said he was hopeful the suggestions would prompt city leaders to pursue means to improve public health without necessarily spending taxpayer dollars.
He noted the success of such an effort last year in Oklahoma City, when the city and businesses coordinated in a successful community challenge to lose 1 million pounds.
The report passed by a 4-2 vote, with board member Donald May voting against and challenging the report for its lack of citation.
He specifically questioned where Carr received data showing Lubbock’s obesity rate is 38.7 percent while Texas’ rate is 28.6 percent.
Several pages of statistics aren’t cited in the report.
“Are we just trying to make Lubbock look bad?” May asked.
Carr said he received his data through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of Health via online searches, but was unable to specifically cite sources during the meeting.
About 30 percent of Lubbock County adults were identified as obese in a 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System study released by the CDC in 2010.
Carr insisted threats from such health issues as obesity are valid.
“Do you ever go to the fair and look around at people there?” he asked May and the board.
May responded: “I’m not disagreeing that folks are overweight. I just want to know where these numbers come from.”
Carr told the board he would prepare a bibliography with sources to accompany the report.
The board also briefly discussed plans to relocate Lubbock’s Health Department, but did not take action on the process.
City staffers told the board a search is under way for a new location for the department.
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Source: Report prepared by Brian Carr and approved by Lubbock’s
Board of Health