Honolulu lays claim to nation’s fittest city
A magazine ranks Honolulu second to Baltimore in physical fitness among the nation's 50 biggest cities.
HONOLULU has been at or near the top of cities in the country for physical fitness since Men's Fitness magazine began issuing the rankings eight years ago. We have been runner-up the past two years, perhaps to relieve readers of boredom in seeing us at No. 1 every year.
The study of fit and fat cities is not scientific, drawing conclusions from a number of entertaining facts, such as the fast-food outlets, pizza parlors, ice cream shops and doughnut stores per capita. (That category was among Honolulu's worst, with a grade of C+.) Ho- nolulu scored highest in the number of basketball courts relative to population, although islanders spend only an average amount of time shooting at hoops.
Some of the information is serious. For example, the magazine points to Centers of Disease Control findings that 52.5 percent of Honolulu residents face potential health problems because they are overweight, a slight increase from last year. More than 18 percent say they didn't exercise at all in the previous month, up from 16 percent last year.
Honolulu was rated the fittest of the nation's 50 biggest cities in 2003 and 2004, but the award went to Seattle last year and Baltimore this year.
At the bottom of this year's fattest was Chicago, followed by Las Vegas and Los Angeles, aka Love 'Andles.
Our top scores were for nutrition (fruit and vegetable consumption and health-food stores per capital), overweight/sedentary and recreation facilities, which include not only basketball courts but swimming pools, tennis courts and golf courses.
Hawaii's climate earned only a B, while grades of A were given to Atlanta and eight California cities, based on the number of days above 32 degrees and below 90, precipitation, sunshine and the August heat-humidity index. Strangely, Hawaii had an A in this category two years ago. Global warming?
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