It's not the first time certainly and it won't be the last, but if for no other reason than perception, the news hurts, particularly when it appears in a widely-read publication such as USA Today. In a ranking of the 50 most populous metro areas, the annual American Fitness Index from the American College of Sports Medicine calls Oklahoma City the most unfit city in the country. Along with the availability of parks, walking trails and farmers' markets, the study is based on factors that have been significant problems for OKC such as smoking rates, obesity rates and percentage of people who exercise.
Of course, the health issue has been one of considerable focus in the city and across the state. For example, Oklahoma City is still on a diet, having lost over 800,000 pounds since 2008. Metro-area school districts are instituting healthier menus and fitness programs. And perhaps you've seen advertisements for "5320," a campaign from the state health department pointing to the number of lives lost each year due to controllable health-related problems.
Unfortunately, it's too early to tell whether these and other efforts will bear fruit, and even if successful, they will take time. So just as soon as we hear positives such as Oklahoma rising to the 11th best state for business, health-related bad news is likely as well, at least for a while.
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