The Five Unhealthiest Cities In America

fat person

Photo: Tony Alter via Flickr

In a country threatened with an obesity crisis, residents of Oklahoma City, Okla. should be particularly weary — their metropolitan area is considered the least healthy place in America, according to a new survey from the America College of Sports Medicine.

The society ranked the 50 largest metropolitan areas in America on a 100-point scale to give a snapshot of community health, taking into account factors such as chronic disease conditions, health care access, community support, and income levels.Communities that ranked lowest in the report tended to have fewer resources and opportunities for a healthier lifestyle, according to the ACSM.

5. Detroit, Mich.

Score: 33.8

Challenges include:

  • Higher percentage of households below poverty level
  • High death rate for diabetes
  • Fewer acres of parkland per capita

4. Birmingham, Ala.

Score: 33.6

Challenges include:

  • Higher per cent currently smoking
  • Higher per cent obese
  • Higher per cent with angina or coronary heart disease


Memphis, Tenn.

Score: 32.9

Challenges include:

  • Higher percentage of households below poverty level
  • Lower per cent eating 5+ servings of fruits / vegetables per day
  • Lower number of primary health care providers per capita

Louisville, Ky.

Score: 29.0

Challenges include:

  • Higher per cent with asthma
  • Lower level of state requirement for Physical Education classes
  • Higher per cent of days when physical health was not good during the past 30 days

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Score: 24.6

Challenges include:

  • High death rate for cardiovascular disease
  • Fewer park units per capita
  • Lower per cent using public transportation to work

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