I love it when cities are shamed for the bad behavior and poor performance of their citizenry, and now we have empirical evidence of the fitness index of some of our major residential areas.  Out of the top 50 urban cores, the New York City metro area placed 30th.  Not so great.

This is the PR blurp for the study:

New York City ranked 30th in the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) 2011 American Fitness Index (AFI) data report, which evaluated the 50 most populous metropolitan areas to determine the healthiest and fittest places to live in the United States.

Based on figures related to healthy lifestyles and physical activity, the New York metropolitan area scored 48.3 (out of 100 possible points) in the 2011 AFI data report. The metro area ranked 21st with a score of 52.9 in 2010.

New York ranked 26th on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health problems and health care. The area ranked 30th on community/environmental indicators related to the built environment, recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers.

Here is the breakdown of the major cited cities:

Rank Metropolitan Area 2011 Score 2010 Rank 2010 Score

1.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 77.2 3 71.7

2.

Washington, D.C. 76.8 1 73.5

3.

Boston, Mass. 69.1 2 72.6

4.

Portland, Ore. 67.7 5 70.4

5.

Denver, Colo. 67.6 6 69.9

6.

San Francisco, Calif. 66.8* 8 64.7

7.

Hartford, Conn. 66.8* 9 64.4

8.

Seattle, Wash. 66.5 4 70.5

9.

Virginia Beach, Va. 65.8 17 57.2

10.

Sacramento, Calif. 65.3 7 65.8

11.

San Jose, Calif. 65.2 14 61.0

12.

Richmond, Va. 64.2 11 62.7

13.

San Diego, Calif. 63.3 13 62.0

14.

Cincinnati, Ohio 60.3 12 62.5

15.

Salt Lake City, Utah 59.8 15 60.6

16.

Austin, Texas 57.8 10 63.9

17.

Pittsburgh, Pa. 55.5 23 52.0

18.

Atlanta, Ga. 55.2 16 57.7

19.

Providence, R.I. 55.1 18 57.2

20.

Baltimore, Md. 53.7 20 53.5

21.

Milwaukee, Wis. 51.8 27 49.2

22.

Kansas City, Mo. 51.5 29 47.9

23.

Buffalo, N.Y. 50.2 28 49.2

24.

Raleigh, N.C. 50.0 22 52.4

25.

Cleveland, Ohio 49.6 25 51.0

26.

St. Louis, Mo. 49.3* 37 40.5

27.

Philadelphia, Pa. 49.3* 26 50.4

28.

Chicago, Ill. 48.9 33 47.0

29.

Orlando, Fla. 48.6 19 55.5

30.

New York, N.Y. 48.3 21 52.9

31.

Jacksonville, Fla. 46.7 24 51.2

32.

Phoenix, Ariz. 45.3 32 47.4

33.

San Antonio, Texas 45.0 43 36.9

34.

New Orleans, La. 43.9 41 37.7

35.

Miami, Fla. 43.1 39 39.9

36.

Charlotte, N.C. 42.3* 34 44.0

37.

Nashville, Tenn. 42.3* 31 47.8

38.

Columbus, Ohio 42.2 35 42.8

39.

Dallas, Texas 41.3 40 39.5

40.

Tampa, Fla. 40.4 30 47.8

41.

Los Angeles, Calif. 39.1 38 40.5

42.

Houston, Texas 38.3 42 37.6

43.

Las Vegas, Nev. 37.8 45 35.3

44.

Riverside, Calif. 36.8 36 42.8

45.

Indianapolis, Ind. 34.4 44 35.9

46.

Detroit, Mich. 33.8 47 31.9

47.

Birmingham, Ala. 33.6 49 31.2

48.

Memphis, Tenn. 32.9 48 31.6

49.

Louisville, Ky. 29 46 32.5

50.

Oklahoma City, Okla. 24.6 50 24.3

I’m sure Mayor Bloomberg is not happy with the results of his fitness index ranking for New York City and that makes me wonder if it is worth it when governments take an active role in the health of their people by requiring a certain BMI and other biometric evaluations for coerced social compliance.

Should overweight people be taxed higher than skinny folk?  We already punish smokers with increased taxation and other environmental exclusions; so why don’t we add an additional tax burden to the sugar addicted so they might seek help to remedy what ails them from within instead of tugging down the rest of us with increased healthcare prices and other social costs?

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