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New Survey List Out Cities That Take Sun Protection Seriously

Most Americans are familiar with the popular city rankings of the fattest cities, the fittest cities, the most livable cities and the most expensive cities . Now, in the first-of-its-kind survey, the American Academy of Dermatology has identified the cities that take sun protection seriously and those that fail to make the grade despite repeated health warnings.

The "RAYS: Your Grade" survey polled adults in 32 U.S. metropolitan regions spanning 29 states on their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward tanning and sun protection. Cities were then ranked based on the percentage of people who scored As and Bs.

"Based on our initial review of what people are currently doing, know and believe about sun protection, 35 percent of the national public score above average, with grades of A or B," said dermatologist Diane R. Baker, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy. "From here, our goal is to move the needle so that we have 45 percent or even 50 percent starting to score in the A or B range."

Of the 32 cities and states ranked on their percentage of A and B grades, Washington, DC, was ranked No. 1, with 47 percent of its residents receiving As and Bs, followed closely by New York City which earned the No. 2 ranking. Dr. Baker also observed that Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles each noted for year-round sunny weather rounded out the top five rankings.

At the other end of the sun-smart spectrum, Chicago was ranked last of the 32 cities polled, earning the designation of the least sun-smart city and demonstrating the need for increased efforts to educate residents on the dangers of sun exposure. In this case, only 21 percent of Chicagoans received As and Bs on their tanning and sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

In examining how the respondents in the top- and bottom-ranked cities fared in answering the 17 sun-smart survey questions, notable differences were found within specific cities.
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