America’s Most Unhealthy Cities 2010

As promised, I will also share with my Valley Girl readers America’s most unhealthy cities per The American College of Sports Medicine’s annual fitness index that was just recently released for 2010. As we all know, America’s obesity rate is astounding and worsening. So it may help to see where the main problem is…

For a recap, the index doesn’t just look at body weight to decipher which cities are fit and which are not. There are 30 fitness indicators that contribute to the final results and include: obesity and exercise rates, death rate from cardiovascular disease, acres of park land, number of primary care physicians per capita, percentage of residents who bicycle or walk to work, and more.

The index compares to 50 largest metropolitan areas on a 100-point scale.

America’s Most Unhealthy Cities:

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Score: 24.3
Obesity Rate: 30.2%
Exercise Rate: 71%
There you have it. Oklahoma City is the most sluggish city in the US due to an obesity rate four points above average, half as many baseball diamonds, rec centers and dog parks as most cities.

2. Birmingham, Ala.
Score: 31.2
Obesity Rate: 34.1%
Exercise Rate: 70.5%
Coming in at #2, Birmingham is the second most unhealthy city as the mortality rate from heart disease and diabetes are far above national averages, according to Forbes Magazine.

3. Memphis, Tenn.
Score: 31.6
Obesity Rate: 30.8%
Exercise Rate: 71.5%
As you may have noticed, the southern states take over the top 10 unhealthy list. Memphis makes the top 3 as an about one-third of its inhabitants are obese!

4. Detroit, Mich.
Score: 31.9
Obesity Rate: 26.9%
Exercise Rate: 75.9%
“The Motor City has high joblessness and poverty, which may be connected to bad diets and high rates of asthma and smoking,” according to Forbes Magazine.

5. Louisville, Ky.
Score: 32.5
Obesity Rate: 27.8%
Exercise Rate: 72.8%
Louisville heart disease and diabetes rates are high and bring this city to number 5.

6. Las Vegas, Nev.
Score: 35.3
Obesity Rate: 25.7%
Exercise Rate: 71.1%
“Perhaps due to rapid growth, Vegas has fewer physicians than other cities. It’s also not a place where many people bike to work or patronize farmers’ markets,” according to Forbes Magazine.

7. Indianapolis, Ind.
Score: 35.9
Obesity Rate: 28.6%
Exercise Rate: 74.1%
The reason Indianapolis makes this list is because of its smoking and obesity rates, along with lack of parks.

8. San Antonio, Texas
Score: 36.9
Obesity Rate: 28.4%
Exercise Rate: 76.6%
San Antonio has high rates of disability and chronic disease, according to Forbes Magazine.

9. Houston, Texas
Score: 37.6
Obesity Rate: 26.8%
Exercise Rate: 74.1%
This city has relatively few fitness resources, dog parks, playgrounds and swimming pools.

10. New Orleans, La.
Score: 37.7
Obesity Rate: 29.4%
Exercise Rate: 70.3%
“In the Big Easy the people are big, eat badly and suffer from high rates of diabetes and heart disease,” according to Forbes Magazine.

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