A snapshot of the state of health of Forsyth County’s residents is cause for concern. A 2011 national study ranking of 100 counties in North Carolina based on health outcomes ranked Forsyth County 22nd, lagging behind all the state’s main urban counties in overall health. One out of four people in Forsyth County is obese while one in five across the nation is obese. Data from the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics revealed that in 2009, 66% of county residents were classified as obese or overweight. Also, in 2009 Forsyth County had 9.9 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births compared to 7.9 for North Carolina.
There has been a growing recognition of the need to act on several fronts. The Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative is a community leadership strategy to facilitate active living and healthier eating through policy and environmental changes. The 2010 State of the County Health Report for Forsyth County identified healthy neighborhoods and healthy housing as emerging issues in Forsyth County, vital for residents well-being.