Healthiest US City Gets Moving

Burlington, Vt., tops list due to active citizens; Huntington, W.Va., is unhealthiest
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2008 2:27 PM CST
Ashley Potter, an Exercise Physiologist with the H.E.A.R.T. Champions program in Huntington, W.Va measures the waistline of a resident in America's unhealthiest city.   (AP Photo/Howie McCormick)
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(Newser) – Burlington, Vt., is America's healthiest city, with 92% of residents reporting that they're in good or great health. A number of factors account for the gap between Burlington and Huntington, W.Va., which brought up the rear in the CDC's healthy-city rankings, the AP reports. Burlington's residents are younger on average, but more important is the fact that they get more exercise.

"There's this norm of a lot of activity," says the state deputy health commissioner. The cities, though superficially similar, typify the differences between America's haves and have-nots. Burlington has a robust economy, with IBM and other employers offering corporate wellness programs and health benefits. Huntington's poverty rate is higher than the national average, and a staggering 50% of the adult population is clinically obese.