By Alison Madsen
The Provo/Orem area is the second healthiest place in the United States for women to live according to SELF Magazine”s annual Healthiest Places Survey.
The final list was decided using 31 criteria including air quality, motor vehicle deaths, access to medical care, the number of health clubs and even days of sunshine per year.
After everything was totaled, Provo/Orem came in number two behind Stamford/Norwalk, Connecticut.
“We”re so close to New York City, yet it has the feel of pure countryside,” said Stamford resident Aideen Mannion, 34, “There”s tremendous hiking nearby, and the water front. And I love that you can walk to everything.”
Abby Williams, a junior at BYU majoring in humanities, said it feels good to know that she is living in the second healthiest place possible.
Williams also said she thinks it might be contributed to the fact that there seems to be a gym on almost every corner.
“I have a gym membership, but I don”t get to go very often,” Williams said, “I think people exercise because there”s nothing else to do and it”s peer pressure. You see other people running in extreme heat everywhere and then you feel guilty so you go too.”
Lia Kallestead, a senior at BYU majoring in exercise science, said that people here are exercise conscious, but not always as nutritionally conscious as they should be.
“Nutritionally we may not be eating as healthy as we think we are,” said Kallestead, “We”re just eating things that we think will keep us thin.”
SELF created several other lists as well including Fattest, Thinnest, Healthiest Eating, Unhealthiest Eating, Fittest, Least Fit, Fewest Cancer Deaths and Most Cancer Deaths.
Of these other lists Provo/Orem ranked No. 1 on Fewest Cancer Deaths. The magazine attributed this to the fact that residents smoke 75 percent less than average and consume 80 percent fewer alcoholic beverages.
Memphis, Tenn., came in as the No. 1 unhealthiest place for women to live.
Several low ranking cities of the past have been inspired to change.
Thanks to the efforts of local residents, some cities have managed to change their rankings. Evansville, Indiana, on the “most unhealthy lifestyle” list for 2001, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the “least fit” list for 2001, were both able to move several slots up the scale.