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Access Builds Healthier Cities

Although individual habits play a large role in keeping obesity rates low, the survey shows community conditions also play a part. Researchers found that residents in nearly all of the nation's least obese cities report above-average access to affordable fruits and vegetables, having a safe place to exercise, having enough money to buy food, and having health insurance.

Those conditions also foster healthier cities. All of the least obese cities have diabetes levels lower than the national average of 11% and heart attack rates below the national average of 4.6%.

Here's a snapshot of how the least obese cities fared in terms of physical health.

% Diabetes

% High Blood Pressure

% High Cholesterol

% Heart Attack

National Average

11

30.6

27.5

4.6

Boulder, CO

5.0

20.1

25.8

3.1

San Jose/

Sunnyvale/

Santa Clara, CA

8.3

24.7

24.4

3.3

Bridgeport/

Stamford/

Norwalk, CT

9.3

29.7

28.4

3.4

Reno/Sparks, NV

8.1

25.6

25.1

3.7

San Francisco/Oakland/

Freemont, CA

8.3

27.7

24.8

2.8

Santa Cruz/

Watsonville, CA

8.5

25.5

23.4

2.2

Fort Collins/

Loveland, CO

7.0

22.8

19.7

2.3

Barnstable, MA

7.1

38.1

28.9

4.4

Denver/Aurora, CO

7.5

26.5

23.7

3.0

Colorado Springs, CO

6.5

22.9

21.7

3.4

San Luis Obispo/

Paso Robles, CA

8.9

31.4

25.1

3.9

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being report is based on telephone interviews with more than 353,000 adults 18 and over between Jan. 2, 2009, and Dec. 29, 2009. It has a margin of sampling error of 0.2 percentage points.

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