Not only did Boulder rank a close second among the nation’s happiest cities on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for 2014, it also ranked – once again – first among cities with the leanest people.
On the well-being index, Boulder scored 71.3, following only Provo, Utah, with a score of 71.4. Fort Collins-Loveland came in third with a score of 71.1. Denver-Aurora scored fifth among the largest communities with a well-being score of 69.5.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities. The overall score and each of the six sub-index scores are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents the ideal. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking these measures daily since January 2008.
Boulder residents are not only among the most content in the nation, they are also the healthiest. With an obesity rate of 12.4 percent – the lowest in the nation, according to Gallup and Healthways – Boulder has claimed the honors of having the fittest folks in the nation all but one year (2009) since Gallup and Healthways began measuring in 2008.
Fort Collins-Loveland also made this list, ranking third among the least obese communities with a rate of 18.2 percent, and Denver-Aurora ranked seventh with a rate of 19.3 percent, tying with San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.
Nationwide, the U.S. obesity rate increased to 27.1 percent in 2013, the highest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since tracking began in 2008. Obesity rates have increased in many communities since 2011.
Gallup and Healthways track U.S. obesity levels as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, using Americans' self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. BMI scores of 30 or higher are considered obese.
Gallup interviewed at least 300 adults aged 18 and older in each of 189 MSAs. Each MSA sample is weighted to match the demographic characteristics of that area.
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