2009 Fattest Cities: #1 Miami, FL

A shocking revelation for this haven of hot bodies

What's Good

Health-food stores are plentiful in Miami: There's one for every 2,328 residents, handily beating the national average of one store per 12,118 people.

Our survey has found 104 percent more sporting-goods stores in Miami than average, an indicator of an active populace.

On a per capita basis, Miami has 79 percent more gyms and health clubs than average, the 6th highest in our survey.

Miami residents are 124 percent more likely than average to roller skate (the four-wheeled variety). That's the highest in our survey.

Locals are 84 percent more likely than average to do aquatic exercise.

What's Not

Florida state law limits or prohibits obesity-related lawsuits against food manufacturers and restaurants.

Mayor Manuel A. Diaz participates in fewer fitness-related public events than most mayors.

The local commute is much more oppressive than in most cities - 50 percent more oppressive than average, leaving less time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Commuter stress may also raise levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to weight gain and other health problems.

The CDC says 44 percent of adults here get either 30 minutes of moderate exercise five or more days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three or more times per week. In the average city in our survey, 49.6 percent of adults exercise at these levels.

According to Nielsen Media Research, TV viewers in the Miami television market spend 20 percent more time in front of the tube than average among cities in our survey.

Air quality here is among the most unhealthful of any city in our survey, according to EPA air quality standards. Unhealthy air makes outdoor exercise hazardous.

Miami's park acreage per capita is 80 percent lower than average and the 4th lowest in our survey. Research has found a connection between access to parks and green space and reduced obesity rates.

Fast food, widely implicated as a contributor to obesity, is more common in Miami than most places in our survey. In a per capita comparison there are 31 percent more fast-food joints here than average.

Miami residents participate in sports much less than average - 20 percent less than average, in fact.

Although other states participate in a CDC-sponsored program to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases, Florida doesn't.

Miami has 74 percent more pizza places per capita than the average among cities in our survey.

Miami scored poorly in our Motivation category for weak participation in outdoor activities despite plenty of open space.

Miami lost points in our Motivation category for poor participation rates in running, biking and walking despite a relatively pleasant climate.

Despite wide availability of local running and biking trails Miami residents are 35 percent less likely than average to jog or cycle, a pattern that cost them points in our Motivation category.

Miami residents are 3 percent less likely than average to actually use their gym or health-club memberships, according to our comparison of membership trends and club use, including machine use, exercising with weights, cardio classes, yoga and martial arts, among others.

Golfers are limited to 1 city-owned course.

Ice cream shops are 141 percent more popular in Miami than average.

Just 7 percent of Miami residents play golf. That's 32 percent less than average and the 4th lowest rate in our survey.

Miami locals are 36 percent less likely than average to hit the stair-climbing machine for exercise - the 4th lowest rate of any city in our survey.

Miami residents are 30 percent less likely than average to use an abdominal machine - the 4th lowest rate of any city in our survey.

Almost nobody participates in high-impact aerobic dancing here; Miami has the 2nd lowest participation rate of any city in our survey. People here are 65 percent less likely than average to do it.

Elliptical motion trainers are about 47 percent less popular than average in Miami, the 2nd lowest overall rate among cities in our survey.

Just 2 percent of Miami residents have a home gym. That's 57 percent less than average, and the 2nd lowest rate in our survey.

Miami has the 2nd lowest participation rate for rowing machine use among cities in our survey.

Just 8 percent of Miami residents exercise with dumbbells. That's 37 percent less than average and the lowest rate in our survey.

Miami has a very low number of fitness swimmers - 38 percent lower than average, the lowest overall participation rate among cities in our survey.

Miami locals are 76 percent less likely than average to burn calories on a ski machine - the lowest rate of any city in our survey.

Miami residents are 67 percent less likely than average to go hiking. That's the lowest participation rate in our survey.

Miami residents are 80 percent less likely than average to play recreational baseball. That's the lowest participation rate in our survey.

Only about 2 percent of Miami residents do Pilates. That's the lowest rate in our survey.

Residents of Miami are 84 percent less likely than average to use aerobic rider machines.

Skateboarding is 63 percent less popular here than average - participation rates are the lowest in our survey.

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