Fattest Cities in America

By Judy Feldman on August 14, 2012 4:47 PM EDT

1796 Caricature
Men's Health Magazine Ranks 1oo Cities: Fattest To Leanest (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Nature or nurture? Genes or environment? Men's Health Magazine has just ranked 100 cities from "Fattest" to "Leanest", with a letter grade and 6 different variables to compute the score. Whatever you think makes your shape, you can check to see how your size and your hometown score fits together. According to the survey, "Corpulent Christi" is the top of the Fat City List.

Top Ten Fattest Cities: Corpus Christi, Texas; Charleston, West Virginia; El Paso, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Memphis,Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Houston, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama

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Top Ten Skinny Cities: San Francisco; Burlington, Vermont; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, and Aurora, Colorado

The rankings were based on a combination of factors, including the percentage of people with Diabetes 2, the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (which tracks the percentage of people who tend not to have left their couch within a month) and the amount of money spent on junk food (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), as well as the number of people who ate fast food nine or times in the last month (from Media Mark Research.)

So the published "Scores" and "Grades"  include six different ingredients. Remember that 1=Fattest and 100=Leanest.

For example, San Francisco won the honor of being the Leanest City, with an overall Ranking of #100 and a grade of A+, but on the other variables: Overweight: 100th;  Obesity: 99th;  Type 2 Diabetes: 57th;  No Physical Activity: 97th; Fast-Food Visits: 35th.

And Burlington Vermont was the least diabetic city, overall.

Corpus Christi won the overall ranking of #1, (and an F) but on other variables: Overweight: 17th; Obesity: 2nd; Diabetes: 3rd;No Physical Activity: 19th;  Fast Food: 84th.   (To learn more details about your favorite cities, check here.)

Moving to a 'leaner' city might not make you shrink, but moving itself does make a difference. Even just taking a walk will burn calories. Having a pedometer, a notepad, and a pen also helps. According to a recent British study, men wearing pedometers and keeping track of total steps at the end of each day walked 11% more than those who didn't put pen to paper. "Recording your steps motivates you to beat your level of activity from the previous day," said the British study's coauthor Stacy Clemes, Ph.D. in a prepared statement. (To see the abstract and learn more about her research, see here.)

 According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, more Americans are walking more. The CDC reported that almost two thirds of Americans now take regular walks compared with only 56% doing so in 2005.

"The basic news today is that physical activity is the wonder drug, and more Americans are making a great first step in getting more physical activity," said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported USA Today."

And some states are  fighting the weight problem with legislation such as laws  to require nutrition information to be listed on food packaging, and  calorie counts to be required on menus in all chain restaurants. A Yale University study recently revealed that the disclosure encourages people to order meals with nearly 15% fewer calories. "People may have ordered less because many of the numbers are shocking, with most appetizers containing half a day's worth of calories," said Christina Roberto, M.S., the study's author, in a prepared statement.   (To read about the science behind the study on front-of-package labels, see here.)

To learn more about legislation for greater nutritional transparency, and to check to see what your state or city may or not be doing yet,  you can check here, and here.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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