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ACSM American Fitness Index(TM) Ranks 50 Largest Metro Areas on Health and Community Fitness
Date:5/26/2009

, finished sixth.

The western United States dominated the top 10, with only three cities lying east of the Mississippi River. The nation's largest cities finished in the middle of the pack with New York at 22nd, Chicago at 25th and Los Angeles at 30th.

The Washington metro area scored above average on the percentage of its citizens who eat five or more fruits and vegetables per day and had a low percentage of smokers. The area also has lower percentages of those with chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, angina or coronary heart disease.

Washington also boasts a high percentage of city land area for parks; higher park-related expenditures per capita; more recreation centers, tennis courts, park units and swimming pools per capita; a high percentage of citizens using public transportation or bicycling/walking to work; a higher-level state requirement for physical education classes; and a higher-than-average number of primary health care providers.

"The WellPoint Foundation is honored to be the founding and ongoing sponsor of the AFI program, and we are committed to improving the health of our nation," said Wesley Wong, M.D., M.M.M., Regional Vice President and National Medical Director for WellPoint's affiliated health plans and member of the AFI Advisory Board. "By supporting AFI alongside programs like our Healthy Generations initiative, we are able to identify risk areas and develop partnerships with community organizations promoting local programs designed to reduce areas of concern."

The metropolitan rankings included in the report are:

    Rank   Metropolitan Area                            Score
       1.  Washington, D.C.                              74.4
       2.  Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.                   72.1
       3.  Denver, Colo.                                 71.6
       4.  Boston, Mass.            
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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