The couple in THIS city are living younger. Find out why.
By Michael Roizen, MD, Sharecare Expert
Is your city making you old? Or is it helping you stay young-no matter what the calendar says?
Our 2013 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America report is out, with a list of the places where people are so healthy and fit it's like residents have erased the year on their birth certificate and penciled in a later one. The report also lists areas where you'd swear the inhabitants are older than their driver's license would lead you to believe, thanks to day-to-day choices that speed their decline.
Sharecare analyzed health data generated by its patented RealAge Test to determine the Top 10 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America. Results from more than 250,000 people went into the calculations as we did the math on America's 50 largest metropolitan areas. The analysis included not just dietary and exercise habits but also cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and sleep patterns and anger-management skills-28 factors in all.
The number-crunching revealed that for the second year in a row, the youngest city in the country is San Francisco. The reasons are clear: People in that city keep moving, eat right and have a host of other healthy habits that make their RealAge two years younger. Where do people age fastest? Louisville, Kentucky, where residents are less likely than people anywhere else in the country to exercise, snack on a piece of fruit or ladle a vegetable onto their dinner plate.
Your city or town can make it easy or hard to make healthy choices, says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sharecare and a co-creator of the RealAge Test. Part of that has to do with local habits: "If your friends are likely to say 'Hey, let's go for a hike on Mt. Hood today,' you're probably in better shape than if your friends always say, 'Hey, let's go get some fried ice cream,'" he points out. Part of it has to do with policies and regulations: New York City's bans and taxes on cigarettes have made a big dent in smoking rates in that region, for instance.
But your city doesn't condemn you to having problems, Dr. Roach adds. "Even if you live in New Orleans"-the country's fifth-oldest city-"you can eat healthy. By the same token, living in San Francisco doesn't prevent you from going to McDonalds or sitting around playing videogames all day."
Check out how young or old your city is, then take the RealAge Test to see how you rank. After you've answered all the questions, you'll get a personalized report that identifies the key changes you can make to improve your health. It is, says Dr. Roach, "a plan for how to make yourself grow younger."
Top 10 Youngest Cities in America:
10. Los Angeles
9. Hartford, CT
7. Washington, DC
6. Minneapolis-St. Paul
3. San Diego
2. Salt Lake City
1. San Francisco
Top 10 Oldest Cities in America:
10. St. Louis, MO
8. Las Vegas
7. Greenville, SC
6. Jacksonville, FL
5. New Orleans
4. Oklahoma City
3. Tampa, FL
2. Greensboro, NC
1. Louisville, KY
To get your RealAge-and a personalized plan for growing younger-take the RealAge Test.
Learn more from the experts at Sharecare: