Southern California has earned its reputation as a fitness-crazed region that has helped to spark workout religions that have swept the world.
But not all is as it seems. While Hollywood projects an image of the Angeleno as beach jogger, gym bodybuilder and urban stair-climber, reality is far from the screen.
Los Angeles County is about half Latino. And it is, by far, majority minority. Those are the folks you rarely see in Hollywood productions. And they're the folks who aren't always eating right and exercising regularly.
The vast divide between the haves and have nots in L.A. extends to health. Fast food is more affordable than Whole Foods, and sitting on ass is way cheaper than a gym membership.
Regardless of blame, fitness has widely become a province of the fortunate.
It's no surprise to us, then, that despite our image, L.A. ranks quite low when it comes to “America's Healthiest Cities.”
The list was put together by consumer healthcare site BetterDoctor.com, which says it looked at the following factors:
1. Population data about physical fitness (exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities, and more).
2. The percentage of doctors in the state that are highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm.
3. The percentage of residents with health insurance coverage to assess how feasible it is for residents to get medical care.
Los Angeles came in 9th place among America's least healthy cities, the site found. L.A. has a low .78 doctors per 1,000 residents. The percentage of us with health insurance, 79.2 percent, or about 8 out of 10 Angelenos, as also comparatively low.
Memphis (barbecue!) was deemed by BetterDoctor.com to be America's least healthy city. Boston was said to be the healthiest. San Francisco ranked as the fourth healthiest city. And San Diego made number 15 on the healthiest cities list.
Before you accuse us of apologizing for L.A.'s great sea of couch potatoes, we will allow you this: Getting up off one's behind and going out for a jog is totally free.
Looks like you need to do that, L.A.