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Oklahoma City named America's unhealthiest city while Arlington is the healthiest city


Location matters when it comes to health as a new study shows.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the American College of Sports Medicine, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was named as the unhealthiest city in the US.

In its 2018 American Fitness Index, the Cinderella City was found to be the worst overall when it comes to levels of smoking, chronic disease, nutrition and access to parks and public transportation. 

It was followed by four Midwestern cities: Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Detroit, Michigan; and Toledo; Ohio. 

The report also crowned Arlington, Virginia, as the country’s healthiest city due to low smoking rates and a large percentage of residents whom exercise and have access to parks and other recreational facilities.

Rounding out the top five were: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Washington, DC; Madison, Wisconsin; and Portland, Oregon. 

The American College of Sports Medicine named Oklahoma City the least fit city in it its 2018 American Fitness Index and Arlington, Virginia, as the most fit city

The American College of Sports Medicine named Oklahoma City the least fit city in it its 2018 American Fitness Index and Arlington, Virginia, as the most fit city

THE TOP 10 HEALTHIEST CITIES…

1. Arlington, Virginia

2. Minneapolis, Minnesota

3. Washington, DC

4. Madison, Wisconsin

5. Portland, Oregon

6. Seattle, Washington

7. Denver, Colorado

8. St Paul, Minnesota

9. San Jose, California

10. Boise, Idaho 

 …AND THE BOTTOM 10 UNHEALTHIEST CITIES

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

3. Louisville, Kentucky 

4. Detroit, Michigan

5. Toledo, Ohio

6. Wichita, Kansas

7. Fresno, California

8. Gilbert, Arizona

9. North Las Vegas, Nevada

10. Tulsa, Oklahoma 

To reach its findings, the ACSM compared America’s 100 largest cities using 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators. The study, in its 11th year, previously compared just the 50 largest cities.

After assessing each city’s provisions, the researchers provided grades out of 100.

Arlington earned 77.7 out of 100 while Oklahoma City scored just 26.3 out of 100. 

The suburban Virginia community had the lowest smoking rate – at just 5.9 percent – and highest reports of ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ health.

Arlington came in fourth in personal health, which is calculated by how much its residents exercise, sleep, and eat fruits and vegetables.

It also ranked fifth in community indicators, with factors including the number of farmers markets per capita and how much residents walk and bike to work.

Despite this, Arlington’s combined scores propelled the city to the top spot, beating Minneapolis by just half a point.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City came in at 94 compared to the 99 other communities when it came to personal health and community indicators.   

Nearly one-third of residents are obese, at 31.2 percent, and the city ranked last when it came to the number of recreational facilities including swimming pools, tennis courts, and dog parks.

Arlington had the lowest smoking rate - at just 5.9 percent - and highest reports of 'very good' or 'excellent' health

Arlington had the lowest smoking rate – at just 5.9 percent – and highest reports of ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ health

Arlington came in fourth in personal health, which is calculated by how much its residents exercise, sleep, and eat fruits and vegetables

Arlington came in fourth in personal health, which is calculated by how much its residents exercise, sleep, and eat fruits and vegetables

‘Obesity rates have climbed to 40 percent and related medical costs are exceeding $147billion yearly,’ Dr Barbara Ainsworth, chair of the American Fitness Index Board, said in a press release. 

‘Along with dietary changes, exercise is one of the best ways people can turn this around; unfortunately, only 22 percent of Americans are meeting national physical activity guidelines. 

‘Through the expanded Fitness Index rankings, more citizens and government leaders will be informed and motivated in developing strategies to improve health and fitness opportunities and modify the infrastructures to support them.’

The report found that most Americans do not meet the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week and strength training twice a week twice-weekly strength training with only 22.2 percent following the guidelines.  

Oklahoma City ranked last when it came to the number of recreational facilities including swimming pools, tennis courts, and dog parks

Oklahoma City ranked last when it came to the number of recreational facilities including swimming pools, tennis courts, and dog parks

‘Encouraging exercise such as community walking programs and bicycling programs can help communities stem the rising tide of obesity,’ Barbara Ainsworth, chair of ACSM and professor at Arizona State University, said in a statement. 

USDA dietary guidelines recommend that an adult consuming 2,000 calories per day should be eating two-and-a-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit per day – another metric not being met. 

About 30 percent of adults eat their recommended fruits but only 18 percent get the recommended serving of vegetables, according to the fitness index. 

‘Having farmer’s markets is an easy way to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities for people who can improve their diet,’ Ainsworth said.



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