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Top 8 artery-clogging cities in the U.S.
November 30th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Top 8 artery-clogging cities in the U.S.

Simply put, where you live matters to your health. A study published in October in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people in poorer neighborhoods often lack access to fresh produce and safe areas to participate in physical activity.

Moving to a better neighborhood can lower the risk for obesity, says the study's author Jens Ludwig, adding that a family's environment has a big impact on their well-being. And researchers know that unhealthy habits are contagious - having a friend or neighbor who is obese increases your chances of gaining weight as well.

Keeping that in mind, residents in these cities may want to take extra precautions to monitor nutrition and exercise. Prevention magazine analyzed the latest obesity and heart disease data from the CDC to compile a list of at-risk metropolitan cities with a population over 200,000.

From car-dependent residents to fried-food lovin' citizens, here are the top eight artery-clogging cities in the United States according to Prevention:

1. Detroit, Michigan
2. Fort Wayne, Indiana
3. Lubbock, Texas
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
5. Dallas, Texas
6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7. Tulsa, Oklahoma
8. Louisville, Kentucky

To learn more about why these cities topped the list - and the healthier options available for residents - check out the full story at Prevention.com.


soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Em

    Wow, Orlando didn't make the list? I'm stunned. Maybe theme parks don't count.

    November 30, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      I go to Orlando once per year. The locals don't seem all that bad. I am surprised that no city from Pennsylvania is on this list. Philadelphia seems to be full of moose.

      December 3, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  2. gremlinus

    Having lived in Louisville, I'm really surprised that it topped Lexington.

    November 30, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave J

      Good point, Louisville never tops Lexington! Go Big Blue!!

      December 3, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  3. Leo

    None of these surprise me. Although I am somewhat surprised that Kansas City is on the list. I live here, and I've seen enough.

    November 30, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      yeah seriously....what with there meat and BBQ...they some big'uns in KC

      December 1, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  4. Thurston Murray

    These major cities are just the tip of the iceburg,many small towns have big problems with Heart Disease. You know we can send a rover to Mars, but we can't produce a liquid chemical that can be injected into an artery and over time clear the artery of plaque, without harm to the artery. Sometimes I wonder where out priorities really are –are they making people wealthy or saving lifes? I would love to hear some of your comments, Thanks for Reading this response.

    November 30, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I hate the mid-west

      OR, OR, we could stop eating like mindless idiots, stuffing down any grease pit burger we can get our fat sausage finger on!

      November 30, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • TB

      There is no reason why we should sacrifice technology and innovation to make an artery "de-clogging" injection. What so we can give people incentives to eat more and not exercise; rather than eat healthy and use their brain to realize what they are putting into their bodies is unhealthy? I think we have our priorities entirely straight, and the people who continue to eat lard and gravy and fried food and then question why they are so fat, and have heart attacks at the age of 35 need to get their priorities straight.

      December 1, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • wilson

      If you put crap in your pipes, it's going to clog them. In spite of your reference to technology, this is NOT rocket science.

      December 2, 2011 at 02:59 | Report abuse |
    • ctguy

      anyone who is stupid enough to shove unhealthy food in their mouth , deserve it !!!

      December 3, 2011 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
  5. I hate the mid-west

    man Springfield MO should have made this list, A LOT of those people of wal mart people are actually from this terrible city. btw this place is the home of the fried mayonaise ball. You did read that right, fried mayonaise. They bread and deep fry it and then die of a heart attack by 50!

    November 30, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • midwest lover

      U have no idea what u r talking about. I have lived in Springfield mo for years and plan on staying. I have never seen a fried mayonnaise ball and there r plenty of places to get healthy food. We have a farmers markets throughout the year, lots of grocery stores with fresh produce( I live within 10 mins of 4 of these). There is also hundreds of miles of walking trails and plenty of parks. People decide how they want to live and eat. People only have themselves to blame.

      November 30, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  6. John

    My arteries are so clogged Dick Cheney friended me on Facebook.

    November 30, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      boo......nice attempt at humor

      December 1, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Funny

      December 2, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
  7. Socially Challenged

    How can Washington DC not be #1. It not only plugs arteries but because of the stupid $@&^ that goes on there it will also clean your bowels

    November 30, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Poodles

      You appear to be not only socially challenged, but mentally challenged as well.

      December 2, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  8. Bart

    I'm surprised that Rochester, NY is not on here.. I mean c'mon, the garbage plate?

    November 30, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • numbnut

      I grew up in Rochester. Can't forget Schaller's, Bill Gray's, Don and Bobs, etc.

      December 1, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
  9. tyler

    hahaha. we live off of fried foods here in texas!
    WRECK 'EM TECH!

    November 30, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Harry Block

    uh, where's my comment?

    November 30, 2011 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Harry Block

    you censored it. why?

    November 30, 2011 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Harry Block

    all I said was that there are products I have used that have worked. they also have helped other people. and you censored it.
    chelation. To clean the arteries.
    ok, I won't recommend alternative medical newsletters again.

    November 30, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Harry Block

    maybe you didn't censor it. maybe I pressed the wrong button.
    I read a lot of CNN and sometimes find interesting information on Mercola.com and Naturalnews.com.
    That's mostly what I said.

    November 30, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dasboot

    Calm down, Block.

    November 30, 2011 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shantilly

      hahahahaha :)

      December 1, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  15. Magilla

    The majority of people in the midwest work long hours and deal with cold, dark depressing weather. They want to grab lunch and dinner at fast food joints and it's just got to taste good regardless of nutritional content. It's a highlight of the day. Of course the foods with the perception of having the best taste are the worst for you.
    I don't know what is keeping the arteries so much cleaner in places like Chicago, Pittsburg, L.A. or Gary, IN or other polluted industrial cities that they did not make the top 10.

    December 1, 2011 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chicago-lover, but -

      Agreed Chicago belongs on this list. I attended a convention there where the first night featured a "taste of Chicago" sausages, etc., and spent the subsequent two days wretching in the hotel – missed the convention entirely.

      December 1, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
  16. Tommy

    Get Real Chicago, the sausage capital of the world is not on here?! SNL played it in "Da Bears" skits; "I got a sausage caught in my ahtary". Big Miss

    December 1, 2011 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. gager

    The article is nonsense. Correlation is not causation.
    Living in any particular city is not the cause of obesity.

    December 1, 2011 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BJ

      only intelligent post I've seen,you running for prez?

      December 1, 2011 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • C

      You're right.
      The article starts right off saying that people from poorer neighborhood lack access to fresh foods, etc. Sounds like
      income/employment status has more to do with it than what city you live in.

      December 1, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Shantilly

      And researchers know that unhealthy habits are contagious – having a friend or neighbor who is obese increases your chances of gaining weight as well.

      I see words here... too bad they don't make sense... :P I don't think being fat runs on a buddy system

      December 1, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • wilson

      True statement. The correlation is probably more in line with income than anything else. It's been proven that the cheapest and most easily accessed foods are ones that have the highest fat. You can eat fast food for a few bucks if you're broke but it will kill you faster than the more expensive and less filling fruits and vegetables. The only way this relates to cities are in relation to unemployment and average wage earning ability. That only thing that is city related to poor health is environmental.

      December 2, 2011 at 03:06 | Report abuse |
  18. Brad

    We made a list!!!! Go Fort Wayne, IN!!

    December 1, 2011 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. bmsvds

    Dallas-ites drive everywhere and walk nowhere. You are what you drive. Sidewalks barely exist in Dallas. Just plain lazy. Glad I don't live there, anymore.

    December 1, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daniel

      Completely agree w/ Dallas car-based observation...Houston, too. The no-sidewalks thing is partly true in both cities, but who wants to walk on a sidewalk when it's 100 degs or more for, literally, months at a stretch? The question I've always had is why does ANYONE live in Dallas? Good place to change planes, bad place to do ANYTHING else.

      December 2, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • Lightsinger

      Grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and I can tell you that the temps there are MUCH less than they are in the Valley of the Sun, in Arizona. 100 is considered a balmy day here in the summer. Try 110-115 for weeks at a time, and we HAVE sidewalks. No one uses them for walking because we're too busy cooking on them!

      December 3, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  20. jimbo

    this food obsession brought on in large part by the Food network and shows like Man vs food(awful)is making us the fat and unhealthy people that so many have become....

    December 1, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lightsinger

      That's nonsense. I have watched the Food network for a long time, and it has me cooking actually a lower fat, healtier diet than anything I ever learned to cook at home - my mother fried EVERYthing. Try watching something other than Paula Dean.

      I blame fast food. When it's cheaper and easier to get a McDonald's burger and fries than it is to cook healthy foods at home, people are going to consume more empty, pointless, unhealthy calories that contribute nothing to their health. Cooking at home is the way to go, and Food Network shows help people do that instead of piling into the car and hitting the drive through.

      December 3, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
  21. cris l

    All these diseases are a form of genocide, thanks to our lovely government that pushes us to eat so many animal proteins that cause all these diseases. Not to mention, they allow poisonous chemicals as additives and preservatives into and food and drinks – which exacerbate the health problems. Yes, our government thinks we're overpopulated so they kill us silently but not before taking all our money first – the money we spend on treatments that are designed to not work. Screw Gingrich, Obama, Bush, Kissinger, the Rockefellers, and so on. They can shove their Georgia Guidestones AND their New World Order down their throats!

    December 1, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. walking heart attack

    Hey, Why does DETROIT always place first in every "bad" category known to man.
    I've lived here all my life and I...uh...wait a minute....ouch....dammit, my chest.....ahhhhh crap I think I'm havin' a hea..____________ [flatline].

    December 1, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daniel

      At least you won't go down in the blotter as a crime statistic in Motown....

      December 2, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
  23. jennd703

    No wonder there wasn't a vegan meal to be found in Dallas when I visited...

    December 1, 2011 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. walletbiopsy

    I've never seen larger people than I did in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel. I quit eating fried foods for a year.

    December 1, 2011 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wilson

      Yeah, but that's probably more related to taste in music.

      December 2, 2011 at 03:08 | Report abuse |
  25. jackk

    Obesity is a mental disorder .

    December 2, 2011 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Poodles

      So is religion.

      December 2, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
  26. RednTexan

    Here in Houston we were name "The Most Obese City In America". Surprising we didn't make this list.

    December 2, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Thurston Murray

    Research is now on the verge of debunking these truoeoy basisless causes of Heart Disease. Recently, on a visit to the Cleveland Clinic my surgen told me that he had assessed many extremely abundent americans and they had no heart disease, but had high blood pressure, Sleep Apanea, and high bad coestroll! Others were always vegiterians, had good weight, no high blood pressure, no family history and they had needed by-pass surgery to save theiir lives. We are barking up the wrong trees when it comes to Heart Disease---he didn't mention any stess studies of the heart. Thanks, T.

    December 3, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KC

      Honey, you probably have many intelligent things to say, but please work on your spelling. Your mistakes are so bad that we lose the sense of what you're saying. Our minds are tripping over every other word!

      December 4, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  28. ctguy

    cities dont clog arteries, ignorant dumb people do !!!!

    December 3, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Pete

    I'm shocked that Buffalo didn't make it. All that buffalo sauce (made with butter), fried food and blue cheese. Really fat people.

    December 3, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KC

      Well, I've been to Buffalo and they also have some fantastic, upscale healthy food restaurants. They really serve food for any number of tastes. I think Buffalo is a great city!

      December 4, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  30. Thurston Murray

    I agree that my spelling is horrible. It is kind of funny in that I am highly educateed and yet don't read over my post to see if I made any mistakes in spelling. My promise to all of you is that I will check my spelling before I post another post. I think some of us are simply way to careless and disperspectiive of the English Language and writing correstly. Thank you, Thursto

    December 4, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mmi16

    Outside of New Orleans – none of those cities have anything worth eating – let alone artery clogging. Just another mindless list to get people arguing about nothing – and nothing that they can do about it.

    You ONLY control YOURSELF!

    December 5, 2011 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. NoTags

    I also wonder why CNN with their technology and staff can't put a reply under the statement you want to reply too.

    If a person has made 2 or 3 posts and you want to reply to the first post when you try to reply this blog puts your reply under the persons last post rather than the post to which you want to reply which doesn't make sense to other readers.

    December 5, 2011 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Koosa Rodiguezf

    Just a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great pattern. "The price one pays for pursuing a profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side." by James Arthur Baldwin.

    August 1, 2012 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.