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Now, Gallup Poll finds the leanest U.S. cities. Hint: Think out West

March 12, 2010 |  5:46 am

Loyal Ticket readers will recall that several dozen meals ago we wrote here about a new study that found America's most obese metropolitan areas.


And the Golden state weighed in rather badly.

The Gallup Poll found that based on Body Mass Index, Stockton, Calif. and Montgomery, Alabama were tied for porkiest metro areas of the 187 studied.

And three California cities ranked in the top worst fattest places.

Obesity is in the news nowadays because of First Lady Michelle Obama.

She's made fighting fat her national campaign, especially among young Americans, who she's urging to move more. And for adults, swimsuit season is approaching. Not to mention the desire to dodge diabetes.

Well, we were so busy harvesting and grazing on homegrown broccoli that we overlooked a follow-up Gallup Poll that found the good-news least obese places in the country.

And, once again, California ranks high. Talk about a diverse place. Also Colorado. Even Connecticut.

Gallup found the top 10 healthiest places had an obesity rate of 18.7, fully 15 points below the bad-eating places.

All 10 people in the Fort Collins/Loveland, Colo., area have the lowest obesity rate of any metropolitan zone in the country, at 16.0%, followed closely by Boulder, Colo., at 16.6%. Four Colorado metro areas rank among the 10 least obese places, as do four areas in California.

In fact, the West rules. So, maybe there is an upside to getting all the the TV shows delayed.

San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles turned in the leanest numbers in California, 17.6%.

The national average, btw, is 26.5%, slightly below the officially obese BMI level of 30.

Second place went to Boulder (16.6), then Barnstable Town, Mass. (16.9), San Luis Obispo, Colorado Springs (17.2), Reno/Sparks Nev. (17.7), Santa Cruz/Watsonville, Calif. (17.9), San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif (19),San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. (19.2), and Denver/Aurora and Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk, both at 19.3.

You are no doubt asking yourself: How can I get that way without moving to Norwalk, Conn.?

No shockers here: Less smoking. More working out. And reporting to pollsters that you ate fruits and veggies yesterday. At least half the people in the least obese areas also claim to work out for 30 minutes minimum at least three times a week. In the porktowns only one area reported such a workout rate.

One interesting correlation for policy planners: The healthiest folks reported much easier access to safe workout places than did the couch potatoes.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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