Best cities to eat smart, be fit, and live well

February 20, 2008

Cooking Light magazine, celebrating its 20th year of publication, embarked on a mission to rank the top major metropolitan areas that best fit their philosophy to eat smart, be fit, and live well.

Rankings were based on the following 15 criteria:

-Does the city have critically acclaimed food professionals? Source: James Beard-nominated restaurants
-How do its restaurants rate? Source: Zagat Survey
-Is organic dining a part of the local dining scene? Source:
-How many chefs work in the city? Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
-Do they earn more than a living wage? Source: BLS
-How many farmers’ markets does the city have? Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmer’s Markets Directory;
-Do residents make use of fresh produce? Source: CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
-Are gourmet ingredients available via national chains? Source: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods locations
-Are residents in good health? Source: BRFSS
-What are the cities with the lowest rates of diabetes? Source: CDC and BRFSS
-What are the cities where residents maintain healthy weights? Source: CDC and BRFSS
-How important is exercise to the city’s residents? Source: CDC and BRFSS
-How much green space does the city provide, and is it well maintained? Source: The Trust for Public Land
-Is the city easy to explore on foot? Source: American Podiatric Association

Keep in mind only major metropolitan areas were considered. Still, it’s a great look at those places that provide the best resources people need to live healthful lives. Here they are:

1. Seattle Washington
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Washington, DC
4. Minneapolis, MN
5. San Francisco, California
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Denver, Colorado
8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10. Tucson, Arizona
11. Baltimore, Maryland
12. Colorado Springs, Colorado
13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
14. St. Louis, Missouri
15. New York, New York
16. Atlanta, Georgia
17. Austin, Texas
18. Chicago, Illinois
19. Las Vegas, Nevada
20. Kansas City, Missouri



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