The Obamas are living in the right city if they want to stay buff.
The Washington, D.C., metro area is the fittest city in the USA, ranking slightly higher than Minneapolis, Denver, Boston and San Francisco, according to a new analysis of the 50 most populous metro areas. The ranking is being released this week by the American College of Sports Medicine at its annual meeting in Seattle.
Oklahoma City is at the bottom of the list, and Detroit comes in second to last.
For the report, called the American Fitness Index, health and fitness experts analyzed government data from the 50 most populous cities. They took into consideration a number of health indicators, including:
• Availability of parks, walking and bike trails and public transportation.
• Percentage of people who exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight and eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
• Percentage of people who have access to health care and have health insurance.
• Percentage of people who don't smoke.

This is the second year for the index, which was funded by the non-profit WellPoint Foundation in Denver.
"We are not trying to pick on anybody, but what we are trying to do is identify the challenges that cities might face and provide them with some guidelines so they may be able to meet those challenges," says Walt Thompson, head of the advisory committee that created the index and professor of exercise physiology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, which ranks No. 15.
People who live in Atlanta face fitness obstacles because the city "wasn't built with fitness in mind, so our sidewalks are quite narrow, and inside the city limits we don't have any bicycle lanes."
So, he says, if city leaders are renovating a park or widening a road, they should consider increasing the width of the sidewalks and putting in bike lanes.
The D.C. area, which includes Alexandria and Arlington, Va., got high marks in several areas, including access to recreation centers and public transportation. Also, a higher-than-average percentage of people report eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day, and fewer people smoke.
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News release provided by USA Today (


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