Chicken-Fried News: Failing fitness 

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The American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation recently released their annual American Fitness Index report on the health of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Oklahoma City didn’t exactly come out with a clean bill of health. OKC’s overall rank is No. 49 and our overall score is 29.5, down from No. 48 and an overall score of 29.6 in 2015, despite new walking and bike trails and continuing updates to city parks and pedestrian infrastructure.

The study took into account health behaviors and problems and environmental factors such as access to parks, recreational facilities and walking trails.

It even looked at physical education requirements in schools.

The truth is OKC’s car culture is slowly killing us — or at least greatly contributing to our unhealthy lifestyles. According to USA Today, “residents in the top three fittest cities all tend to walk more because they use public transportation.”

They also have better access to parks and a lower number of residents with cardiovascular and diabetes-related issues.

A good example of the failures in OKC’s lifestyle is its city’s Walk Score, which is 31.6. The study group has set the city’s target goal at 51.1. The most disconcerting score is the number of deaths per 100,000 citizens due to cardiovascular disease. We’re at 214.4, 47.3 points over our target goal of 167.1. Our smoking scores and the number of us consuming needed fruits and vegetables is also nothing to brag about.

Washington, D.C. is the fittest city, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and Denver, Colorado.

Maybe Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett should put us on a citywide diet again, or maybe we just need to put the fast food down, eat some fruit and go take a walk on one of our new trails or sidewalks.

Print headline: Failing fitness

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