Fittest Cities vs. Fast Food Nation
America’s obesity epidemic is largely blamed on fast food, and reports have concluded that almost half of U.S. citizens could be affected by the rapidly growing obesity epidemic by 2030. Using Bundle's unique data, we analyzed which cities in the country spend the most on fast food. In addition, we calculated the Fittest Cities in America – that is, which metropolises spend the most money at gyms and fitness centers.
We wondered: Are the fast food cities the least fit? Do the fittest cities eat the least fast food? Find out below!
Plano, TX tops our list of Fast Food Cities and comes in fifth on our list of Fittest Cities. What does this mean? Plano is a wealthy town with plenty of money to spend – whether the cash is going towards a Big Mac or a gym membership. According to Wolfram Alpha, a computational knowledge engine, Plano’s median household income is almost $82k per year, about 1.6 times the national average. Its population below the poverty line is 6.7 percent, about half of the national average. These financial statistics help explain the high spending habits of Plano's residents -- according to Bundle's data, Plano spends 2.3 times the national average on fast food, and spends 103 percent above the national average on fitness. So while Plano residents love their fast food, they also shell out money to sweat off the calories.
Boston, MA, ranked high on our Fittest Cities list, spending 35 percent above the national average on gyms. This urban New England city also spends the least in the country on Fast Food – 92 percent less than national average. Boston residents like to work out and avoid fast food joints, indicating that it's a very health-conscious city. Unsurprisingly, Boston ranks low on the most obese cities in the U.S, according to a Gallup-Healthways poll. Additionally, New York, NY and Washington, D.C. spend very little on fast food compared to the national average, and both cities spend well above the national average on working out. In fact, most of the cities in the U.S. that work out the most and spend the least on fast food are coastal.
When we looked at the most fast food chains in a city per 100,000 residents, Orlando, FL revealed the highest number of Burger Kings. If you visit Disney World anytime soon, expect to see a Burger King very frequently. When we compared this information with Orlando’s ranking on our Fittest Cities list, we found that these residents don’t spend a lot of money on gyms; in fact, they spend about 40 percent less than the national average. It's clear that Orlando loves fast food more than working out.
Orlando isn't the only city that prefers fast food to working out. Baton Rouge, LA frequents fast food shops 1.64 times the national average, one of the highest on our list. When we looked at how much these residents spend on working out, it is almost half of the national average. Madison, WI, Kansas City, MO, and Chandler, AZ are also high on our Fast Food Cities list, each spending about 30 percent less than the national average on working out.
What We Learned
Fast Food Cities and Fittest Cities do have an opposite correlation – the cities that eat the most fast food spend the least on working out, and vice versa. Check out the two infographics below to find out which cities eat the most fast food and spend the most on fitness centers.
FAST FOOD NATION
AMERICA'S FITTEST CITIES