America’s Fittest Cities

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Men’s Fitness Magazine has the rankings for the fittest and fattest cities in the United States.

I see these sorts of rankings several times a year and I have just swallowed them whole in the past. “Maybe if I lived in Seattle, then I’d be thin,” I think to myself. Only now am I questioning the data…

What do they base this ranking on? According to their website:

“Men’s Fitness has, well, weighed elements like commuting time, weather patterns, and even the total number of temptations (i.e., Dunkin’ Donuts) you face each day as part of our exhaustive annual survey of size.”

There is no other mention of data for the survey, not even a statistical variance. My Bullshit Meter is going off the scale. Firstly, I don’t really trust surveys. They are merely opinions, not scientific fact. Secondly, they aren’t even revealing the sampling size. If they only questioned one couch potato in Utah, he might not even be aware of the many gyms, recreation centers and parks available to him, whereas, he would know the location of every Dunkin’ Donuts in the city (for the record, there are none, but we do have a Krispy Kreme).

More importantly, I think fluffy blurbs like this are more harmful than I imagined. When my mind jumped to the thought, “Maybe if I lived in Seattle, then I’d be thin,” it is not much of a leap in logic to think, “I can’t be thin because I live in the wrong city.” It might be subconscious, but I don’t want to pollute my mind with stuff like that.

It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t even matter what the weather is like outside, what the crime rate is or how many Dunkin’ Donuts you pass on your way home. All that matters is how dedicated you are to yourself. You have to make yourself the priority. Your health is more important than anything else that nags at your time. You are worth it no matter where you live.


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