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Monday, June 3, 2013

New Orleans 38th out of 50 largest metropolian areas in Fitness

Article published in Times Picayune See Link
Bruce Alpert, | Times-Picayune By Bruce Alpert, | Times-Picayune
on May 29, 2013 at 9:39 AM, updated May 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON - New Orleans ranks 38th among the 50 largest metropolitan areas for health and community fitness status, according to a survey released Wednesday by the American College of Sports Medicine.

The New Orleans area ranked 11th on a scale measuring such factors as recreational facilities, park-related expenditures, physical education requirements and primary health care providers.

But the area ranked dead last on personal health indicators related to health behaviors, chronic health conditions and health care access.

If there's any good news, it's that 12 metro areas fared worse in the survey than New Orleans score of 41.6 out of a possible 100 points.

The five with the lowest scores, starting from the last place city, were Oklahoma City, Detroit, San Antonio, Louisville and Memphis.

The healthiest urban areas, according to the 2013 survey, were Minneapolis-St. Paul, Washington D.C., Portland, San Francisco and Denver.

"We have issued the American Fitness Index each year since 2008 to help health advocates and community leaders improve the quality of life in their hometowns," said Walter Thompson, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. "As urban areas attract more and more residents, it's imperative for cities to create a built environment, fund amenities and form policies that get residents active and encourage healthy lifestyles."

In 2012, the New Orleans area was ranked 37th, one spot better than in 2013.
To assist with measurement and to provide a baseline measure of health and fitness status, the American College of Sports Medicine worked with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health and physical activity experts. Researchers used data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts.

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