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40 Largest U.S. Cities Get a Health Rating

“Healthy city living is about more than eliminating food deserts and boosting access to healthcare. It also means the ability to safely ride your bike down the street, breathe clean air and not have to choose between paying the rent or buying dinner. A two-year analysis from Maryland-based de Beaumont Foundation’s CityHealth project sized up the 40 largest U.S. cities by all of these factors and more, and found that more than half aren’t taking the necessary steps to improve the health and well-being of their residents. The study looked at how cities fare across nine policies that help residents live healthier lives, and awarded them bronze, silver or gold medals — or no medal at all — in each of the nine categories, and then gave them a final medal based on those results.

The nine policies assessed:

  • Paid sick days
  • Universal, high-quality pre-K
  • Affordable housing and inclusionary zoning
  • Complete streets
  • Alcohol sales zoning
  • Clean, smoke-free indoor air
  • Raising the minimum legal age for the sale of tobacco products to 21
  • Food safety and restaurant inspection ratings
  • Access to healthy food

Only five cities received an overall gold medal: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C. All five of the gold medal cities have paid sick leave and Vision Zero initiatives, and New York, Boston and Chicago are also part of a network working to bring universal pre-K to more cities around the country.”

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