Charlotte ranks 36th on new study of health of 50 large U.S. cities

Charlotte ranks toward the bottom in a national study ranking the healthiness of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Dr. Walt Thompson, chairman of the American Fitness Index, told a meeting of the Charlotte Chamber’s board of directors and advisers Monday that the city came in 36th out of 50.

The annual study found that Minneapolis ranked at the top of the list, followed by Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Denver.

Thompson, a professor at Georgia State University, said Minneapolis scored well in part because of its low cardiovascular disease death rates and strong support for healthier lifestyles via high per-capita spending on public parks.

Charlotte, he said, had higher rates of cardiovascular illness and spent $64 per capita on parks, compared to $227 per capita in Minneapolis.

“If you were in my class at Georgia State University, you’d be repeating that class,” he told the crowd.