Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

America's Fittest and Fattest Cities

How Does Your Hometown Weigh In?

WebMD Health News

Jan. 6, 2005 - Feeling hefty in Houston or svelte in Seattle? You're not alone. A new report shows that Houston once again weighs in as the fattest city in America while Seattle ranks as the fittest.

Men's Fitness magazine ranked the 50 largest U.S. cities based on a variety of factors related to obesityobesity and fitness, such as percentage of obese residents, recreation facilities, sports activities, and number of junk food outlets.

After crunching the numbers, Houston emerged as America's fattest city in 2005. Houston temporarily lost the top spot to Detroit in 2004 but held the dubious honor from 2001 to 2003.

Houston was joined by two other Texas cities in the top 10 fattest cities, Dallas and San Antonio, suggesting that bigger isn't necessarily better for the residents of the Lone Star state. Three other cities, Memphis, New Orleans, and New York, also bulked up and climbed more than 10 spots to make an appearance in the top 10.

On the positive side, the report shows that some cities are slimming down, as Seattle rose from No. 6 on the fittest list to No. 1, followed by Honolulu and Colorado Springs.

Here's how the rest fared:

25 Fattest Cities
RankCityRank in 2004
1Houston2
2Philadelphia7
3Detroit1
4Memphis, Tenn.20
5Chicago5
6Dallas3
7New Orleans22
8New York21
9Las Vegas16
10San Antonio4
11El Paso, Texas24
12Phoenix18
13Indianapolis17
14Fort Worth, Texas6
15Mesa, Ariz.12
16Columbus, Ohio10
17Wichita, Kan.16*
18Kansas City, Mo.14
19Miami15
20Long Beach, Calif.23*
21Oklahoma City13
22Tulsa, Okla.19
23Atlanta11
24Charlotte, N.C.22*
25Baltimore23
* Ranking in the top 25 fittest cities in 2004


25 Fittest Cities
RankCityRank in 2004
1Seattle6
2Honolulu1
3Colorado Springs, Colo.5
4San Francisco2
5Denver4
6Portland, Ore.8
7Sacramento, Calif.10
8Tucson, Ariz.9
9San Diego14
10Albuquerque, N.M.12
11Boston7
12Virginia Beach, Va.3
13Minneapolis, Minn.18
14Fresno, Calif.15
15Milwaukee, Wis.21
16Omaha, Neb.11
17San Jose, Calif.20
18Jacksonville, Fla.13
19Austin, Texas19
20Oakland, Calif.17
21Los Angeles25
22Arlington, Texas8*
23Washington25
24Cleveland9*
25Nashville-Davidson, Tenn.24
* Ranking in the top 25 fattest cities in 2004

How They Did It

It's the sixth annual 50-city report by the magazine. The cities were ranked first to last and assigned numerical grades in 14 equally weighted categories, which are considered indicators, risk factors, or relevant environmental determinants affecting fitness, obesity, and health.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections