With our country’s obesity epidemic, less active kids and many nutritional problems, it can be easy to miss positive news on the health front. The Ninth Annual American Fitness Index (AFI) was released this week and showed an increase in those who indicated they exercised in the last month, and an almost 5% decrease in smoking. Another promising finding was an increase in the number of states requiring physical education for our children. The index looked at metropolitan areas in the United States and found the three fittest areas were Washington, D.C., closely followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver, Colorado. The goal of AFI is to offer communities resources that help in the assessment, planning, and implementation of health-improving measures. The indicators used are modifiable through community effort.
As we continue to work with individuals and communities alike, this type of programming helps identify actionable areas with evidence for improving health. It is encouraging to hear positive news about our country’s health!