Health and Fitness Column

Minneapolis healthiest city in U.S.

By John Taylor | Jun 04, 2013

The American College of Sports Medicine just released the 2013 rankings for healthiest American cities, and Minneapolis topped the list.
Minneapolis received high marks due to its clean air quality, the addition of bike trails and implementing a ban on smoking in public places. The Minneapolis-St. Paul also had lower rates cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma, and  has a high percentage of the city devoted to parkland, offering plenty of ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, dog parks, golf courses and recreation centers.
Coming in at No. 2 was Washington, D.C., which received high marks for low smoking rates, high percentages of runners and cyclists and possessing a high number of swimming pools, tennis courts, and recreation centers per square mile. D.C. residents also average eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and the area boasts a high number of primary health providers per capita.
Boston came in at No. 3, and ACSM found that a high percent of the population walks or bikes to work, with the result that rates of obesity and diabetes are lower than average. Though Boston lost points for high rates of asthma, the city also has lower-than-average smoking rate of just 14 percent.
Portland, Oregon ranked No. 4 due to the city’s vast amount of parkland, high number of farmers’ markets, availability of health care and popularity of walking or biking to work. Denver came in at No. 5 for low cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma and heart disease rates. Denver boasts plenty of golf courses, dog parks swimming pools and tennis courts.
Rounding out the top 10 was San Francisco, Hartford, Seattle, Virginia Beach and Sacramento.
In comparison, ACSM named Oklahoma City the most unhealthy city in America for tits high death rates from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and possessing a low percentage of their citizen who walk or bike to work. Oklahoma City also has a lower number of city parks, swimming pools, and tennis courts per capita, and does not require as many years of physical education from kindergarten to twelfth grade compared to other states.
North Carolina had two cities that made the list with Raleigh coming in at an admirable 15th, whereas Charlotte ranked a disappointing 36th. Raleigh received high marks for having a lower death rate for cardiovascular disease and  diabetes, and having a percent of city land devoted to parkland. In comparison, Charlotte received lower scores for higher obesity rates, fewer health care providers per capita and possessing a high population of smokers.
Let this be a lesson to all of American society. If your city obtains a professional sports franchise through dishonest means, your season ticket holders will increase their rates of obesity, heart disease  and other avoidable ailments.
That’s right Oklahoma City Thunder fans. You may have gotten away with stealing my beloved Seattle Supersonics through shady backdoor deals, but at this rate, the team may have to relocate again due to declining ticket sales from a fan base that may be too sick to attend the games.
Oh well, at least I still have the Seattle Storm of the WNBA to root for to get my pro basketball fix, right?