Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unhealthy in Columbus

Paging through my latest issue of Self, I was saddened to read that Columbus is one of the top five unhealthy cities in the United States for women to live. San Francisco ranked as the healthiest and Gary, Indiana ranked as the most unhealthy. Unfortunately, my hometown is a lot closer to the hell hole that is Gary rather than the west coast bay area ideal.

The ranking system for the cities took into account such things as access to ob / gyn health care, the environment, average time spent being active, number and range of food options, crime rates, levels of depression, number of STDs and smoking rates. So the data collected seems to be pretty thorough. In fact, what they did was come up with 52 factors in a woman's life which would have the largest impact on health, collected census and other data on that criteria and then weighted each to come up with a formula.

An online bonus, lists the positives and negatives of each city. Columbus ranked positive for the low numbers of automobile deaths and allergies. It ranked poorly on the number of rapes and obesity levels. The rape reporting number has been something of a local hubbub. It seems that with the OSU campus here, rape is reported differently than in other cities. This is probably why Columbus sank 10 spots from last year's report to fall into the top five unhealthy cities this year.

Not being able to argue (too much) with the data, I'm left to look around the city and wonder what else makes us unhealthy. I know a great number of women and I would say most of them are pretty healthy. Part of this is the people I know, others like me who are well educated and have at least some disposable income for things such as gym memberships and organic food. However, my friends, co-workers and I seem to be in the minority. Columbus is in the top 10 of highest obesity rates.

I mistakenly thought we had kicked that whole fattest city problem. The Mayor renamed Broad Street to be Commit to be Fit Blvd. and then the problem was solved, right? Evidently not.

Being pretty riled up about this, I created another blog to publicize healthy living in Columbus. Check it out here. There are a lot of good things happening in Columbus, health and otherwise, and I don't like my hometown keeping company with Gary, Indiana.

1 comment:

Dave Yaros said...

You describe Gary, Indiana as a "hell hole." Well, that is one term that may be used by some to depict the "Steel City," but it does have/did have its good points. I was born, bred and educated in Gary; and am proud of it.

For a different perspective on Gary and the Calumet Region, one may go to Dave's Den. Itpresents extensive information on the

Ethnic diversity
Past & Present People/Places/Events

of the "Steel City," Gary, Indiana. Of course U.S. Steel is covered, particularly the "World's Largest Plate Mill," the 210 inch Plate Mill. The site gives a thorough and understandable explanation of how steel is made. It also details the tragic story of the 1981 murder of Gary Police Lt. George Yaros. The web site has many photos and does permits users to contibute/participate in a blog.

The web site lind is Dave's Den

The web site url is