Is your city a blubber haven or in fitness heaven? - SNEWS

Is your city a blubber haven or in fitness heaven?

Men's Fitness magazine may be dissing your city in its fifth-annual America's Fattest Cities story. But we don't see this list so much as an insult, but rather as a call to arms...

Men's Fitness magazine may be dissing your city in its fifth-annual America's Fattest Cities story. But we don't see this list so much as an insult, but rather as a call to arms for metro areas to jump into the fray to help prevent the continued climb of obesity rates. Here's how the annual survey works: The magazine picks the largest cities based on latest census figures, then gives ratings to each based on a mix of hard science (mortality data or percentage of overweight based on government figures), real-world factors (such as climate, trails, parks, numbers of clubs and the like), plus factors that the magazine says "provide insight into the attitude and behavior of the locals, including fruit and vegetable consumption, TV watching statistics, and junk-food proliferation." Put all that together and it comes up with its top 20 list of fittest and fattest.

With a drumroll that is more of a thud, the fattest cities, from the fattest to the, well, still fat, but not as bad: Houston, Texas; Chicago; Detroit; Philadelphia; St. Louis, Mo.; Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas (Texas again); Charlotte, N.C.; New Orleans, La. (gotta go for gumbo); Indianapolis, Ind.; San Antonio (oops, Texas again); Phoenix, Ariz.; New York (the BIG apple); Fort Worth (yikes, Texas again); El Paso (whoa, Lone Star state, yet again); Las Vegas, Nev.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Baltimore, Md.

Another drum roll for the fittest from the No. 1 most fit on down: Honolulu; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco; Colorado Springs, Colo.; San Diego, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Denver, Colo.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Tucson, Ariz.; Sacramento, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Boston, Mass. (must be all those marthoners); Austin, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; Oakland, Calif.; Wichita, Kan.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Jacksonville, Fla.; San Jose, Calif. (unemployed dot-commers with time on their hands?); and Long Beach, Calif.

What you'll notice: Weather is in many cases very predictive. If the climate is milder -- like in California with six entries for most fit -- it's just easier to get outside and do things that help you stay fit. But mountains also help, even if that means snow (note two Colorado towns as fit ones). Food customs play a large role too, if you consider that Texas has five fattest towns (!). That's the state where if you eat a 5-pound steak, it's free. (No, really…) But perhaps what this also means is that fitness industry companies and clubs ought to take a longer and harder look at cities where fatness still rules since there could be higher rewards by making a full run at these areas…with the right programs. To read more about the survey and see past years' lists, go to:


Did you hear?...Who's the fittest of them all? See how your city ranks

Not as if this is the first time somebody or some group has ranked metropolitan areas based on how "fit" they are. But this is the first time that it's been done by a bunch of sports medicine professionals -- researchers and scientists looking at government data rather than some more

Omron, Men’s Fitness to help “fattest” cities get fit

Houston and Chicago probably aren't proud of their expanding waistlines, but what's a fat city to do? Omron, makers of heart-rate and blood pressure monitors, and Men's Fitness Magazine are planning to give them – and other “fat” cities -- the kick-start to fitness with more

2008 SNEWS® Fitness Retailer Survey: Full results for your eager eyes!

(Last week, we published the full results and commentary for the "best" and "most difficult" supplier questions -- which appeared in part in the new SNEWS® magazine you received in June – as well as full results of top-selling and fastest-growing category questions, plus what we more

Did you hear?... Is your neighborhood walkable? Ask

When SNEWS® heard about, a website that rates the walkability of your neighborhood or city, we had to give it a whirl. Heck, our offices are in the rural Sierra Nevadas of Northern California. But wait … being in a beautiful place doesn't mean a place is walkable. more

SNEWS® fitness wish list 2004

As sure as holiday fruitcake and candy canes no one wants, comes a flood of fitness trend prediction lists at the turn of each year. Sometimes the lists are a provocative read; usually they're a big repetitive yawn: Yoga will get big (been there, said that); people will flock to more

Web Extras: Industry Consolidation -- Is the fitness path accelerated?

By Therese Iknoian  For the complete story, see GearTrends® Fitness 2005, p. 12, "Passion to Profit" The timeline of recent retail birth, date, mergers and acquisitions 2001 – Busy Body (Texas) goes bankrupt 2001 – Remaining Busy Body stores auctioned off to: Fitness more


SNEWS Fitness Retailer Survey deadline extended: Speak your mind now!

Responses to the 2009 SNEWS Fitness Retailer Survey are multiplying quickly and we know the industry will again learn something from what its retailers say. But we are still missing some voices, so we've extended the deadline to do it -- or to finish it for a few who are more

Is your region the fittest in the country? Or -- ouch -- the least fit?

Who doesn't want to be a superlative now and then? And being able to say you live in the "most fit" region of the United States (assuming you contribute to the ranking) can't be all bad. According to statistics issued by the National Sporting Goods Association, the Mountain more


Fitness retail in America’s fittest and fattest city

We all love lists … or at least, love to debate them. So when Men’s Fitness put out its "2014 Fittest and Fattest Cities" list earlier this week, we decided to check in with fitness retailers located in the cities at the very top and bottom of the list — Portland, Ore. and more