Residents fatter but better insured

Nearly two-thirds of Anne Arundel County residents are overweight or obese, according to the results of a new Department of Health study.


The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, released last week, also found that a growing number of county residents have health insurance coverage, get routine dental checkups and have annual flu shots.

More than 1,000 county residents responded to the survey, which was conducted in August and September by Holleran Consulting.


The survey helps the department assess community needs, focus on public health areas that require particular attention and provide targeted services such as Web site recipes, smoking-cessation classes and other resources for healthy living.

Among the findings:

63.5 percent of county adults are overweight or obese, down about half a percentage point since three years ago and up 6.1 percent since 2001.

91 percent indicated that they had health care coverage, compared to 89.9 percent of respondents in Maryland and about 84 percent nationwide.

41 percent got flu shots during last year's flu season, compared to less than 35 percent in Maryland and 32 percent nationwide.

17 percent indicated that they were cigarette smokers, about the same as in the survey three years earlier. The nationwide rate was 20 percent.

African-Americans were more likely than whites to report having high blood pressure and diabetes. Men were more likely than women to smoke and participate in vigorous physical activities. Women were more likely to use sunscreen, eat fruits and vegetables, and to try to lose weight.

Previous county surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2001.


Information: or 410-222-7002.

Battle of the Bands Saturday

The 10th annual Battle of the Bands will be held Saturday, crowning the county's top high school rock band while raising money for school music programs.

A sellout crowd is expected at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis to hear the following bands starting at 5 p.m.: Choice from Southern, Funkasaurus from Chesapeake, Ground, also from Southern, Kill the Mourning from North County, Kramer and Nelson from South River, Mount Weather from Annapolis, Question the Hearing from Archbishop Spalding, Stockyard from Severna Park, Sylent Asylum from Old Mill, the Honest Life from Broadneck and the Side Affects from North County.

Judges will include Rob Timm, an on-air personality at WRNR-FM, Becky Rusteberg of Chesapeake Music Guide and Lewis Poretz, a musician and owner of Open Mortgage.

The top band will perform in an anti-smoking TV commercial to be produced by Smoking Stinks, a program of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Smoking Stinks will promote its Kick Butts Tour concerts for teens and distribute free T-shirts, glow sticks and anti-smoking materials.


Tickets to Saturday's concert are $12 available from band members and $15 at the door or from the Maryland Hall box office, More show information can be found at

Settina named to head Park Service

An 15-year veteran of the Department of Natural Resources has been named the first woman to hold the post of Maryland Park Service superintendent.

Department Secretary John R. Griffin praised Nita Settina of Annapolis for her dedication, commitment to partnerships and fiscal responsibility in announcing her promotion last week.

Settina was recommended after a national search by a panel of DNR staff members and external partners. She replaces Paul "Rusty" Ruszin, who retired Oct. 31.

"Nita possesses the right combination of skills and experience to lead us forward in addressing the natural resource management, stewardship and sustainability challenges that are central to our mission," he said.


The Maryland Park Service manages natural and cultural resources on 134,000 acres of public lands.

Settina began her tenure with the DNR in 1995 as the agency's intergovernmental affairs director. In 1999, she moved to the Park Service to lead the development of the Nature Tourism Program. Since 2004, she has been executive director of the Maryland Conservation Corps.

She holds a master's degree in science, parks, recreation and resource management from Frostburg State University and a bachelor's degree in arts and film from Pennsylvania State University.