2009 Fattest Cities: #5 New York, NY

  • Fitness Centers & Sport Stores: F
  • Nutrition: D
  • Sports Participation: D+
  • TV Viewing: B
  • Overweight/Sedentary: C-
  • Junk Food: A
  • Air Quality: C-
  • Geography: F+
  • Commute: F+
  • Parks & Open Space: F
  • City Rec Facilities: F+
  • Access to Healthcare: F+
  • Motivation: B
  • Mayor & City Initiatives: C-
  • State Obesity Initiatives: A
  • What's Good
    Fast food, widely implicated as a contributor to obesity, is less common in New York than most places in our survey. In a per capita comparison there are 73 percent fewer fast-food joints here than average.

    New York has "snack tax" laws aimed at reducing obesity and improving nutrition.

    New York is one of 28 states that participate in a CDC-sponsored program to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases.

    New York has 78 percent fewer pizza places per capita than the average among cities in our survey.

    Donuts are 68 percent less popular here than average, according to a comparison of places where they are sold. New York has the 7th lowest number of donut outlets per capita in our survey.

    Ice cream shops are 82 percent less popular in New York than average.

    What's Not
    The local commute is much more oppressive than in most cities - 54 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. (It should be noted that many New Yorkers walk regularly during segments of their commute.)

    New York has 1,800 municipal parks, among the fewest of any city on a per capita basis, according to our exclusive survey of municipal park departments.

    New York's park acreage per capita is 79 percent lower than average and the 6th lowest in our survey. Research has found a connection between access to parks and green space and reduced obesity rates.

    Health-food stores are rare in New York: There's one for every 28,632 residents, nowhere near the national average of one store per 12,118 people.

    Golfers are limited to 12 city-owned courses. Relative to population, that's less than almost anywhere else we surveyed.

    Feel like hitting the public pool for a morning swim? Good luck finding one. New York has one pool for every 135,648 residents - 207 percent fewer than average in our survey.

    There are 143 percent fewer tennis courts per capita here than average among cities in our survey.

    Our survey has found 87 percent fewer sporting-goods stores in New York than average an indicator of an inactive populace.

    On a per capita basis, New York has 66 percent fewer gyms and health clubs than average, the 3rd lowest in our survey.

    Back to 2009 Fittest/Fattest Cities

Want more Men's Fitness?

Sign Up for our newsletters now.