fitness, health, medicine

What Is Different About America?

Minneapolis-St. Paul is the healthiest American city. That’s according to the American College of Sport Medicine’s 2012 American Fitness Index. The index, which considers factors ranging from number of tennis courts to percentage of smokers, also ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul the healthiest city in 2011. This is attributed to the rapid increase of exercise studios and local government investing in parklands. Washington D.C. was ranked second followed by Boston, San Francisco and Hartford. Oklahoma City – due primarily to smoking and increased obesity – was ranked the unhealthiest city proceeded by Detroit, Louisville, Dallas and Birmingham. These are cities without a “healthy appetite for life”.

Overall, more than 33% of adult Americans are obese; but rates vary by state. A 2011 telephone survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked adults their height and weight. Although state rates of obesity remained about the same, the number of states with at least 30% of the adult population being obese increased from 9 states to 12. They were Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Mississippi had the highest rate – 36% – and Colorado had the lowest – 21%. It seems America’s obesity problems come from “fatheadedness”.

Provo, Utah is the best American city for “successful aging”. That was the finding of a 2012 Milken Institute report. The report analyzed data for 78 indicators of success including health care, housing, transportation, education opportunities and cultural experiences. The indicators were then weighed based on survey information regarding what was most important to seniors, with health care and financial security being their top concerns. Madison, Wisconsin was ranked second followed by Omaha, Nebraska; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York, New York. However, the Milken Institute didn’t define successful aging because it couldn’t define the “u” in success.

Finally, what state is supposedly the clumsiest? A 2012 study by the warranty provider Square Trade was based on the number of damaged or broken iPhones and iPads. For iPhones Mississippi was ranked as the clumsiest followed by New Mexico, Rhode Island, North Dakota and South Carolina. When it came to iPads, South Carolina was ranked the clumsiest followed by Mississippi, Nebraska, Washington D.C. and Alaska. Unfortunately, Square Trade didn’t speculate on why these states had the most accidents with Apple products nor did they say why such a study was necessary. Nevertheless, I don’t think the findings will “upset the applecart”.