2009 Fattest Cities in America
25 towns in need of a fitness overhaul
As we've done for more than a decade, we have collected and analyzed reams of data on the 50 most populated areas in the nation in an effort to determine just which cities take fitness the most seriously. Here are the 25 that landed on this year's list of the Fattest Cities in America.
10.) Louisville-Jefferson, KY
According to Nielsen Media Research, viewers in the Louisville-Jefferson television market spend 15 percent more time in front of the tube than average among cities in our survey. According to the CDC, 42.4 percent of adults here are heavy enough to increase their risk for weight-related health problems. Compare it to a national average of 36.09 percent. Just 12 percent of Louisville-Jefferson residents have a health club membership. That's 33 percent less than average, and the lowest rate in our survey.
9.) Charlotte, NC
Charlotte residents received a bottom score in fruit and vegetable consumption, with only 21 percent eating the recommended five or more servings per day. Feel like hitting the public pool for a morning swim? Good luck finding one. Charlotte has one pool for every 67,159 residents — 52 percent fewer than average in our survey. A mere 11.1 percent of Charlotte residents run or jog — 2nd lowest in our survey.
8.) Jacksonville, FL
Florida state law limits or prohibits obesity-related lawsuits against food manufacturers and restaurants. Jacksonville residents participate in sports much less than average — 18 percent less than average, in fact. Just 9 percent of Jacksonville residents exercise with dumbbells. That's 30 percent less than average and the 4th lowest rate in our survey.
7.) El Paso, TX
Basketball courts are practically nonexistent here, among the fewest per capita in our survey. There's just one court here for every 9,634 residents; the national average is one court per 6,909 people. There are 134 percent fewer tennis courts per capita here than average among cities in our survey. Golfers are limited to two city-owned courses. Relative to population, that's less than almost anywhere else we surveyed.
6.) Houston, TX
Air quality here is among the most unhealthful of any city in our survey, according to EPA air quality standards. Donuts are 132 percent more popular here than average, according to a comparison of places where they are sold. Houston has the 6th highest number of donut outlets per capita in our survey. Just 2 percent of Houston residents have a home gym. That's 42 percent less than average, and the 4th lowest rate in our survey.
5.) New York, NY
The local commute is much more oppressive than in most cities — 54 percent more oppressive than average, leaving less time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Our survey has found 87 percent fewer sporting-goods stores in New York than average an indicator of an inactive populace. New York has one pool for every 135,648 residents — 207 percent fewer than average in our survey.
Las Vegas, NV
Fast food, widely implicated as a contributor to obesity, is more common in Las Vegas than most places in our survey. In a per capita comparison there are 68 percent more fast-food joints here than average. Las Vegas has 106 percent more pizza places per capita than the average among cities in our survey. Las Vegas has 69 municipal parks, among the fewest of any city on a per capita basis, according to our exclusive survey of municipal park departments.
San Antonio, TX
Just 12 percent of San Antonio residents have a health club membership. That's 31 percent less than average, and the 2nd lowest rate in our survey. Just 2 percent of San Antonio residents have a home gym. That's 57 percent less than average, and the 2nd lowest rate in our survey. According to the CDC, 28 percent of residents in the San Antonio area are clinically obese.
2.) Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City residents received a bottom score in fruit and vegetable consumption, with only 17 percent eating the recommended five or more servings per day. Oklahoma City residents are 28 percent less likely to participate in fitness walking than average, the 2nd lowest overall participation rate among cities in our survey. Basketball courts are practically nonexistent here, among the fewest per capita in our survey. There's just one court here for every 12,162 residents; the national average is one court per 6,909 people.
Despite wide availability of local running and biking trails Miami residents are 35 percent less likely than average to jog or cycle. Ice cream shops are 141 percent more popular in Miami than average. Mayor Manuel A. Diaz participates in fewer fitness-related public events than most mayors.
HOW THE REST RANKED:
11. Memphis, TN, 12. Detroit, MI, 13. Chicago, IL. 14. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, 15. San Jose, CA, 16. Tulsa, OK, 17. Baltimore, MD, 18. Columbus, OH, 19. Raleigh, NC, 20. Philadelphia, PA, 21. L.A.-Long Beach, CA, 22. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, 23. Indianapolis, IN, 24. San Diego, CA, 25. Kansas City, MO
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