Honolulu ranks No. 1 for women's health
Resources, facilities and crime are some of the factors in SELF magazine's survey
Honolulu is the healthiest place for women out of 200 metro areas surveyed by SELF magazine.
The December issue, on newsstands today, also ranks Honolulu third for best environment and second for "best breasts" -- health of breasts, that is.
SELF recruited an expert panel to interpret more than 6,000 pieces of data in about 40 categories to rank the cities.
Honolulu was acclaimed the "Big Kahuna" based on criteria including health care resources, fitness facilities, parks, beaches, crime statistics and other factors.
Detroit was deemed the "unhealthiest place" because of a high rate of unemployment, depression and "destructive habits such as smoking."
Carmen Smith, 32, manager of drag-racing teams for General Motors, is quoted by the magazine as saying, "Staying healthy takes time and money, and those things are scarce in Detroit."
In Honolulu, on the other hand, Nicole Pickens, a 30-year-old publicist, told SELF magazine she relocated from New Jersey last year so she could Rollerblade year-round.
"STAYING FIT is just so easy here, and the scenery makes it that much more appealing," Pickens told the magazine.
Honolulu's advantages go beyond spectacular beaches and sunshine, including one-third more obstetricians/gynecologists than the average city on the list, the magazine said. Also, 95 percent of women have health insurance, it said.
Islanders "enjoy an Asian-influenced diet" with mahimahi, salmon and ahi sold in 43 stand-alone fish markets, it said. Plus, "It's a tradition for a friend to arrive at your door with a big bag full of papaya, avocados or mangoes," Jennifer Loustalot, a 34-year-old photo producer, told SELF.
The magazine noted that Honolulu's "aging infrastructure is under stress," with a sewer line break* in March that sent millions of gallons of sewage into the ocean.
But it said the spill was cleaned up, and "the air remains pristine and ecoactivism is widespread, born of an immersion in nature few hometowns can rival."
RUNNERS-UP FOR the healthiest places for women were Portland, Maine; Nassau-Suffolk counties in New York; Orange County, Calif.; and Burlington, Vt.
Alaska won the "pink ribbon" in the "best breast" category for the number of women getting mammograms and low rate of deaths from breast cancer, followed by Honolulu.
San Francisco headed the list for pristine air and water and few toxic sites, making it the "best environment" for women. Tucson, Ariz., was second and Honolulu, third.
Houston has the worst environment, according to the survey.
THE HEALTH OF WOMEN
Among other findings in SELF magazine's survey:
» Seattle women were the fittest, exercising an average of 75 minutes a week compared with roughly 45 minutes in the least fittest areas.
» Women were most likely to be on a diet in Orange County, Calif., and least likely to be on a diet in San Francisco.
» The healthiest eaters were in Oakland, Calif., and unhealthiest in Tulsa, Okla.
» The cities of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., on the banks of the Red River, were ranked the happiest places for women because of low unemployment and violent crime rates and the shortest commute, says SELF.
» Las Vegas was the unhappiest place, with high depression and suicide rates.
Women can visit www.Self.com for an interactive map to find how their town ranks and learn tips about improving their health.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
» A sewer line break in March resulted in millions of gallons of sewage flowing into the ocean. A story on Page A1 Tuesday about a SELF magazine survey that ranked Honolulu the healthiest place for women incorrectly referred to a water main break.