Even with all of the fresh green grass, clean air and healthy food that can be found in America, there are some cities that simply do not pass the healthy test. Some of the unhealthiest cities are also the most popular to visit; you might even be surprised by a couple. Check out our list of the seven unhealthiest cities in America below.
Number Seven: Las Vegas, Nevada. One can often find heaps of litter on the ground just a couple of blocks away from The Strip in Las Vegas. And if you happen to be in the casinos, you may notice an abundance of cigar or cigarette smoke among some gamblers. As one of the unhealthiest cities in the country, even asbestos has been a problem for residents. In May of 2015, those living in southern Nevada were being exposed to unhealthy levels of asbestos.
Number Six: Indianapolis, Indiana. Staying in Indianapolis might be a bit difficult if you love your lungs. Visitors will have a great chance of inhaling secondhand smoke, and the air is polluted to begin with. Indianapolis also ranked as the least fit major city in 2015, so it seems that this is a part of Indiana that really needs to promote healthy living. There also just aren’t many biking or hiking paths, public parks or playgrounds for residents to enjoy, which seems to be a key factor in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Number Five: Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville, the second largest city in all of Tennessee, definitely has a health problem among many of its residents. Since about one out of every six residents has absolutely no health insurance, there are health-related risks that go unaccounted for and are untreated. One in four Nashville residents is obese, with one out of every three qualifying as being overweight. Sadly, this is where diabetes, heart disease and hypertension soon follow, but since such a large number do not have health care, the issues remain unsolved. But later on in this list, you’ll see another Tennessee city that is worse-off than Nashville.
Number Four: San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is the seventh most populated city in America and the second most populated in Texas. Austin seems to be one of the more healthy cities in Texas, while Houston, Dallas and San Antonio don’t seem to be carrying as much praise for their residential health or cleanliness. Specifically, when it comes to the city of San Antonio, the city is rated pretty low as far as its overall health score, and part of the problem is not having enough highly-rated doctors and physicians.
Number Three: Louisville, Kentucky. Only 26 percent of residents in Louisville are smokers; however, the same percentage of residents meet federal aerobic-activity guidelines. Less than 15 percent of Louisville-area residents consume three or more vegetables a day, and both of these issues, among others, are causing higher levels of disease. Twelve percent of residents have asthma, 10 percent have diabetes and 32.8 percent are obese.
Number Two: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City itself is huge – so big in fact that residents can’t get around without driving a car – which means less physical exercise. The city has a lot of residents who are dealing with diabetes, coronary heart diseases as well as asthma. Ads for cigarettes began to decline as food advertising began to increase, proving to be a very effective way of convincing residents to eat more than they should (even if they are practicing the healthy habit of smoking less).
Number One: Memphis, Tennessee. If you ever plan a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, be prepared as it is number one on the unhealthiest cities list. It should not surprise anyone, since Memphis is the home of the late Elvis Presley — who famously loved eating peanut butter, fried banana, and bacon sandwiches. The city is especially known for its music and its food, so while you may enjoy the greatness of some blues and jazz tunes, beware of the fatty foods when visiting Memphis.