Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Bogus "Healthiest City" Report

The Indianapolis Star reports:
Minneapolis-St. Paul, blessed with abundant parkland, has banned smoking, increased its number of farmers' markets and spent several million dollars on preventing chronic diseases.

It's no wonder it rose to the top of a national "fit city" ranking, while the Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area slipped for the third year in a row.

The 10-county area dropped one position to 45th among the top 50 most populous U.S. areas in the American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index. Last year, it tumbled to 44th, from 36th.

The area's ranking is low for many reasons: higher-than-average levels of smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease and poverty, and lower numbers of parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and people using public transportation or bicycling to work.
I wish the media would stop publishing these bogus listings which are always based on flawed  methodology.  Here they looked at such thing as amount of parkland, smoking ban (we have one already in Indy that covers 90% of businesses), number of farmers; markets and how much money is spent on certain programs,to conclude whether an entire metropolitan area is "fit." 

These listings are all about promoting more taxpayer spending on projects that the authors of the study deem important.  The listings are not about gauging the health of a community.  If they were doing that they'd do look at weight, blood pressure, life expectancies, diabetes and cancer rates, etc.  But hey are facts really important when you have a political agenda to support through bogus ratings that the media will always report without question?


JeffW said...

"...If they were doing that they'd do look at weight, blood pressure, life expectancies, diabetes and cancer rates, etc...."

Do you walk around this city with your eyes closed?

If they used your "facts", then we should be jumping for joy that we are 45th.

JeffW said...

I should have said, "Do you get in your car and drive around with your eyes closed?" Not exactly a 'walker-friendly' city we call home.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree JeffW, we may be worse than 45th. Doesn't excuse the bogus methodology though.

I always found while traveling that people in southern states tend to be at least thinner than northern states. I was surprised how skinny people were in Florida compared to Indiana. I think the weather plays a large roll in a community's weight and health.