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Indy Tops List of 10 Unhealthiest US Cities, Movoto Study Finds

Image: Indy Tops List of 10 Unhealthiest US Cities, Movoto Study Finds Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, autumn 2012.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 03:29 PM

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What are the unhealthiest cities in America? That’s what Movoto, a real estate site, tried to find out using criteria such as air quality, the availability of fast food, and a city’s walkability.

Movoto declared the country’s Top 10 unhealthy cities to be:

1. Indianapolis
2. Wichita, Kan.
3. Memphis, Tenn.
4. Nashville, Tenn.
5. San Antonio
6. Jacksonville, Fla.
7. Tulsa, Okla.
8. Oklahoma City
9. El Paso, Texas
10. Baltimore

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Movoto started its study with the country’s 50 highest-populated cities and came up with 12 critera to judge them by:

• Fast food restaurants per square mile
• Percentage of population that meets federal activity guidelines
• Percentage of population with diabetes
• Percentage of population that is obese
• Percentage of population that smokes
• Percentage of population with low access to healthy food
• Air quality rating
• Walkability score
• People per recreation facility
• People per farmers’ market
• Park acreage per person

According to USDA data, Detroit has the highest occurrences of diabetes and obesity, followed by Memphis and Louisville.

Memphis and Nashville tied for worst when looking at levels of physical activity compared to the government’s physical activity guidelines.

Indianapolis has the highest percentage of adult smokers at 30.3 percent. Cleveland and Las Vegas came in second and third.

Nine of the 50 studied cities received an “F” rating in a 2013 American Lung Association report on air quality, with Indianapolis coming in as the worst, which means it tops the list for both bad air quality and number of smokers.

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In Philadelpia, El Paso, Texas, and New York City, it can be hard to find a place to exercise. Those cities measured worst in available recreation facilities per person. Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach had the least amount of park space per resident.

For those who don’t seek out a place to exercise, simply walking around the city can do the trick. But Fort Worth, Texas, and Nashville had walkability scores from Walk Score of only 36 out of 100.

Who fared the best in Movoto’s study as the healthiest city in the country? Colorado City.

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