City releases health survey findings for 2014

Last week, the Chicago Department of Public Health released a report on the health and behaviors of the city’s 2.7 million residents.

Cover of the 2014 Healthy Chicago Survey, published by the Chicago Department of Public Health

The Chicago Department of Public Health released its report on the 2014 Healthy Chicago Survey in November 2015.

The report detailed findings of a 2014 survey of a randomly selected sample of 2,500 Chicago adults. Data from the survey have already helped determine priorities for a city health improvement plan, according to the city department. Survey results will be used as a baseline to measure the success of the city’s four-year plan, called Healthy Chicago 2.0.

On the day the department released the report, the 2014 Healthy Chicago Survey, the public health department convened epidemiologists and health experts from across the city, including investigators from the Illinois Prevention Research Center (PRC), to identify ways to leverage the data to improve public health.

The survey involved 2,500 Chicago adults randomly selected for phone interviews about their health status, health access patterns, disease, and risk behaviors. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish from May 6, 2014 to September 23, 2014. Survey methods were similar to those used in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.

The Illinois PRC tracks local and state health indicators related to our research, especially health behaviors and their links to health disparities.

Avoiding tobacco use, consuming at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily, and engaging in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly are critical to disease prevention. Yet disparities in these behaviors leave many in Chicago at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other risks for premature death:

  • Non-Hispanic blacks (25.3%) and low-income adults (26.6%) smoke at higher rates than the city average (18.4%).
  • Only 22.7% of Chicago adults report eating the recommended minimum of three daily servings of vegetables.
  • Most adults (75.6%) reported not getting enough exercise — a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week.
  • Two in five adults reported weights and heights that classified them as overweight (31.7%) or obese.

The city plans to conduct the survey annually and periodically release reports highlighting particular health issues or population groups in detail.

CDPH is currently conducting the second annual Healthy Chicago Survey, which will continue asking questions about core public health issues, but also introduce new questions addressing social cohesion, discrimination, and neighborhood conditions.

This news release was adapted from a press release from the Chicago Department of Public Health and the health statistics were drawn from the report.


About the banner image at the top of this page: The Chicago street corner was photographed by John W. Iwanski and used by the Illinois PRC via Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0.