National health survey gets underway in Comal County

Comal one of 15 counties across US selected for survey

COMAL COUNTY, Texas – From what vaccinations you get at the doctor to the new low-fat and light food options consumers see at the grocery store, they all stem from data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

This month the survey is underway in Comal County.

Study managers said the information they get can really make a difference in the nation's health.

In New Braunfels, the mobile examination center is set up and ready to go.

"The data that we collect in the mobile center is information about a person's health, so that provides a good baseline and they probably will never have as much information about themselves as they do there," study manager Jacque Dematteis said.

Comal County is one of 15 counties across the United States that was selected to be a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The survey itself has been around for more than 50 years, and the data has been used to look at issues like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

"It also has been used to create standardized growth charts for pediatricians. The researchers use that information for all of the information that they look at to determine some positive things we can use to make our health better," Dematteis said.

For the last two weeks, staff members have been interviewing people at more than 1,200 randomly selected homes throughout Comal County. However, they said only about 480 will be selected for the survey.

"Not everybody that we go to gets selected because it's a statistical sampling," Dematteis said.

The health examinations start Friday.