Final Word

By Jeff Girod

Posted February 7, 2013 in News
We’re fat. We’re lazy. And we lo-o-ove to smoke.

That’s according to the 2013 Community Health Profile, a report released by the County of Riverside Department of Public Health.

Turns out residents of Riverside County are among the least healthy people in California. And don’t get too uppity, San Bernardino County. The only reason I don’t have your stats is because your health inspector exploded in a drive-thru from too many bacon-wrapped chalupas.

The 2013 Community Health Profile is 83 pages long. (Maybe I should get in shape by squatting on it.) Here are the highlights:

• Riverside County ranks near the bottom in overall health among California counties. More than 60 percent of early deaths here are caused by heart disease, cancer, lung disease and stroke. (The other 40 percent of early deaths are caused by our giant, cancer-riddled carcasses tipping over onto people.)

• Riverside County residents are more likely to eat fast food compared to other California residents. Nearly 20 percent of Riverside County residents reported eating fast food four or more times in the past week. (Four times a week . . . how else are we supposed to collect all those souvenir NASCAR cups?)

• In 2009, the rate of smoking was higher in Riverside County (15.3 percent) compared to California (12.5 percent) overall. (Then again, with all of the truck fumes, it’s probably healthier to inhale cigarettes.)

• Compared to children in California, children in Riverside County were twice as likely to eat fast food four times in the past week. Riverside kids and teens were also more likely to spend three to five hours a day in front of the TV, compared to other California kids. (Five hours in front of the TV eating a Happy Meal means fewer hours of those little punk asses cutting across my lawn. Added bonus: When kids are short of breath, they’re easier to catch.)

Exciting stuff! It’s a like a photo finish to the death between heart disease and lung cancer — and that’s just our ninth graders. Hey what are the odds that Riverside County’s percentages are actually really good and there’s just one really lazy, fat guy eating a butt load of curly fries and smoking all of our cigarettes?

Fast food is awesome. Exercising sucks. It’s even printed on the Riverside County seal (which is actually just the back of a Chilis place mat.) And I think we can all agree that smoking is way more satisfying than anything that requires sweatbands and “strengthening your core.”

Most people quit exercise programs after just four weeks, according to a statistic I just made up. And which would you rather be: A shameful little quitter, or somebody who has the vision and foresight to never start anything?

Luckily the standard for health around here is pretty low. Next week, eat fast food three times instead of four. See? You’ve already cut your risk of dying by 25 percent.

And I’m no doctor, but if you’re going to smoke . . . blow it onto a jogger. Maybe you’ll get a contact runner’s high.

I know we’ve let ourselves go recently, Riverside County. Truth be told, I probably could’ve done one sit up since 1987. But holy crap! Now we’re the least healthy people in the state?

The state! What about Fresno or Kern County, or all of those other cow-turd, ass-crack shit piles between here and Nevada? Surely there must be someone out there who loves Jumbo Jacks and Cinnabuns as much as we do.

The Inland Empire already has among the worst unemployment, traffic and property foreclosures in the country. It’s not fair that we also have to be fattest and the most likely to stroke out. Or if we’re going to be, at least our county health department could stop blabbing it to everyone.

Could we be healthier? Hell yes. But it’s hard to think about eating a celery stick when you can’t afford your mortgage and you might get laid off. When you’re in the unemployment line, nobody cares how many jumping jacks you can do.

I think you look fine, Riverside County. Damn fine. I like a little meat on your bones. So have another donut or six.

Besides, living until you’re 50 is over-rated.

Contact Jeff Girod at


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