The following three scenarios demonstrate how the Healthy Insights visualization and predictive modeling capabilities can guide community level decisions about public health interventions and investment by helping identify the specific geographic areas in greatest need (Scenario 1), the nearby resources that could be mobilized to effect local level change (Scenario 2), and the types of intervention areas that would maximize investment impact (Scenario 3).
This scenario demonstrates how to drill down to the community level to pinpoint the specific geographic areas of highest need, thereby helping users prioritize sites for investment and maximize limited resources.
At the top left corner of the page, the from Geographic Region dropdown box, select County. From the Data Value dropdown, select Actual Obesity Prevalence.
Using the cursor, hover over the map of South Carolina to find Fairfield County and discover that the county obesity prevalence is 40.0%.
Use the zoom (+/-) feature in the upper left corner of the map to zoom-in so that Fairfield County is the central point of focus. From the Geographic Region dropdown, select the second option, Census County Division, to see the predicted obesity prevalence break-down for each of the four smaller subdivisions of Fairfield County.
Returning to the map, hover the cursor over Fairfield County to discover the names of the four county subdivisions and their corresponding obesity burdens: Winnsboro North (36.6%), Winnsboro South (40.0%), Ridgeway (38.8%), Monticello-Salem Crossroads (46.3%).
Identifying that Monticello-Salem Crossroads has the highest County obesity burden enables users to consider prioritizing this County subdivision when looking to intervene or invest in Fairfield County.
This scenario demonstrates how to discover the organizations serving a geographic area of interest, thereby informing users of existent local resources that have the potential to contribute capacity and partner community health initiatives.
At the top left corner of the page, select County in the Geographic Region dropdown box and Household Distance to Healthy Food Retailer in the Data Value dropdown box.
Navigate to the bar chart at the bottom of the screen, and hover over the rightmost blue bar to discover that the average household distance to a healthy food retailer in Colleton County is 6.2 miles – the greatest average distance to a healthy food retailer out of the 46 counties in South Carolina.
At the top of the page, click the Data Value dropdown box to select Actual Obesity Prevalence.
Above the blue bar chart, click Sort by Actual Obesity Prevalence. Using the cursor, hover over the bars in the bar chart to find Colleton County and discover that in addition to having the lowest access to a healthy food retailer in the state, Colleton is also the 6th most obese County with an obesity prevalence of 40%. Given this information, low healthy food access may be contributing to the County’s high obesity burden.
Hover over the map of South Carolina and double click on Colleton County to zoom-in and see the County characteristics and resources appear in the left side-panel.
Click the Farmer’s Markets check box. On the map, a green dot appears in the center of Colleton County to indicate that only one Farmer’s Market serves one of the biggest counties in the state. This finding may propel the user to contemplate an intervention that increases the number of Farmer’s Markets in Colleton in order to improve healthy food access and reduce dietary related disease burden.
Use the additional information in the left side-panel to identify organizations that could potentially partner this Farmer’s Market initiative. Click on the Churches check box to map the 166 churches dispersed across Colleton County that could contribute capacity like land and human resources to this initiative.
Click on Lowcountry Community Action Agency in the side panel, to see that Colleton County falls within its coverage area. Land and state funding makes this resource another potential partner for this Farmer’s Market initiative.
Identifying that Lowcountry Community Action Agency and 166 Churches already serve Colleton county enables the potential engagement of these local sources of land, funding, and human resources, which could not only increase intervention implementation efficiency, but also stimulate the community ownership that promotes program sustainability.
This scenario demonstrates how to visualize the factors most significantly correlated with obesity and predict the effect of mitigating these factors, thereby guiding decision-making and the selection of intervention areas that maximize public health impact.
At the top left corner of the page, click Geographic Region dropdown box, and select County. Click the Data Value dropdown box to select Actual Obesity Prevalence.
To see how the obesity prevalence compares across counties in South Carolina and identify the counties with the highest disease burdens, find the blue bar chart at the bottom of the screen, which organizes the obesity prevalence alphabetically by County. Just above the vertical axis of the bar chart, click Sort by Actual Obesity Prevalence in order to reorganize the bars so that they increase left to right by magnitude of County obesity prevalence. Hover over the rightmost blue bar to see that Lee County has the highest obesity prevalence in South Carolina at 44%.
At the top left corner of the page, click the Data Value dropdown box to explore the demographics and characteristics of Lee County that may be contributing to the obesity burden, and select College Graduates.
At the bottom left of the screen, find the scatterplot between Percentage of College Graduates and Obesity. Determine that obesity and college graduation rate are strongly correlated from the clustering of points forming a negative and roughly linear association: as County percentage of college graduates increases, obesity prevalence decreases. This association suggests that community intervention or investment that increases educational attainment may reduce obesity prevalence.
Using the cursor, hover over the map of South Carolina to find Lee County and discover that 9.7% of the population has a college degree. As in Step 2, navigate to the blue bar chart at the bottom of the screen and Sort by College Graduates to find that Lee County has the third lowest percentage of college graduates in South Carolina.
To predict how increasing the percentage of college graduates by investing in education would impact the obesity prevalence in Lee County, from the Data Value dropdown box, select Obesity Prevalence Predicted by Education.
In the side-panel to the left of the map, find the Coll. Grad Rate % slider. To view the predicted health impact of increasing the Lee County college graduation rate, drag the slider to 39% and click Update.
In the bar chart at the bottom of the screen, a new set of orange bars appears adjacent to the original blue bars to show the predicted obesity prevalence after the user inputs any change to high school or college graduation rates. Click Sort by Obesity Prevalence Predicted by Education and hover the cursor over the rightmost orange bar of the bar chart to find the new predicted obesity prevalence of 39.2% for Lee County: A ~20% increase in the current Lee County college graduation rate predicts a reduction in obesity burden, from 44% to 39.2%.
Visualizing the strong correlation between County percentage of college graduates and obesity prevalence in addition to the reduction in Lee County obesity predicted from a ~20% increase in college graduates, both help direct intervention design and enhance stakeholder engagement by assuring a public health impact of initiating or participating in education-specific initiatives in Lee county.
For questions and additional assistance, please contact the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED)