July 22, 2018
Spilled popcorn

Should You Eat Dropped Food?

by Berkeley Wellness  

Spilled popcorn

Is it okay to eat food that has fallen on the floor? Many people abide by the “five-second rule,” which maintains that anything is fair game if you pick it up within that time frame. Others argue that no dropped food is safe. New research settles the question.

Vaccine Exemptions and the Law

Vaccine Exemptions and the Law

by Berkeley Wellness  

mother, baby girl and doctor image

Nearly every state allows parents to forego vaccinations for their children due to religious reasons, personal beliefs, or both. Here's a look at the complicated intersection between personal liberty and public health.

View as List The Healthiest Cities in the U.S.

  • The Healthiest Cities in the U.S.

    It sometimes seems that in matters of health, as in real estate, the key mantra is "location, location, location." After all, every year countless media outlets publish lists of the healthiest cities in the country, and every year many of the same cities show up. You can live a healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyle anywhere, of course; but certain places seem to provide that special blend of factors—from abundant green space to excellent health care to a local culture that embraces fresh, healthful eating—that correlate with extra-healthy residents. Here, we laud eight cities perennially cited as among America's healthiest, for good reason.

  • 1

    Boston

    swan boats in Boston image

    Boston frequently appears at or near the top of lists of the country's healthiest cities not only because its residents are active—almost four out of five regularly engage in some sort of physical activity—but because an impressive 94 percent of Greater Boston residents have health insurance, the highest rate anywhere in the nation. And when those residents need a doctor, they have plenty to choose from: Boston has the highest per capita rate of doctors in the country, with 514 physicians and surgeons for every 100,000 residents.

  • 2

    Boulder, Colorado

    Boulder image

    Boulder's low obesity rate alone (12.4 percent in 2014, vs. 35 percent for the nation overall) lands it high on any list of healthy cities. Combine that with an outdoor-friendly mountain climate—the hot, dry summers and relatively mild winters allow for excellent biking, hiking, running, and skiing—and a creative, health-conscious restaurant scene, and you've got a recipe for a fit way of life.

  • 3

    Honolulu

    Honolulu image

    Like their Boston counterparts 5,000 miles to the east, people lucky enough to live in Honolulu can point to one major reason why the city so often scores high on the list of the nation's healthiest: Hawaii has had near-universal health care for four decades. A climate and physical surroundings that encourage outdoor activity certainly help—as does a diet generally rich in seafood.

  • 4

    Minneapolis

    Minneapolis image

    The greener the city, the healthier its residents, the adage goes. Nowhere is this truer than in Minneapolis. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land has cited Minneapolis's park system, which covers roughly a fifth of the city and provides ready access to hiking, biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities, as the best in the U.S. More than 87 percent of locals report participating in physical activities on a regular basis, while a higher-than-average per capita rate of doctors and mental-health providers—plus an insured rate of around 90 percent—ensures that most residents have ready access to checkups and screenings.

  • 5

    Portland, Oregon

    Portland image

    While several cities in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Coeur d'Alene, and others) might just as easily be on this list, Portland features more than 225 parks and over 140 miles of hiking trails. It was named America's "greenest city" out of 43 cities ranked in 2010 by the American City Business Journals. Portland was also second overall in Cooking Light's list of the 20 cities that best fit its philosophy to "eat smart, be fit, and live well." (Seattle ranked first.)

  • 6

    Provo-Orem, Utah

    Utah image

    According to CDC statistics, more than 95 percent of adults in the Provo-Orem area are non-smokers, a higher percentage than in any other American city. That, combined with one of the lowest rates per capita of fast food restaurants in the country, a lower-than-average rate of alcohol consumption, and an exercise-friendly culture, likely helped Provo-Orem to score first among 189 communities in the U.S. on a 2014 Well-Being Index compiled by Gallup.

  • 7

    San Francisco

    golden gate bridge image

    Not only are San Francisco residents more likely to walk or bike to work than people in other U.S. cities, but the huge amount of open space in and around the city—including the 120 square miles comprising the Golden Gate National Recreation Area—provides endless opportunities for recreational biking, hiking, and running. Fewer than 10 percent of San Franciscans smoke cigarettes, the very word "locavore" was coined in the region, and the metropolitan area (which also includes neighboring Oakland, Berkeley, and Fremont) has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country.

  • 8

    Washington, D.C.

    Washington Monument image

    That the nation's capital routinely shows up on lists of healthy cities might seem surprising—until you consider that there's more green space in D.C. (think the National Mall) than in many other cities its size. Washington took the top spot in the 2014 American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index, which compares the relative fitness and health of the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Among the areas in which D.C. bested its fellow cities: fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, more residents using public transportation, and a higher per-capita rate of both primary care providers and farmers markets.

What You Should Know about GMOs

What You Should Know about GMOs

by Ben Cosgrove  

soybeans image

Few food-policy debates are as rancorous as that over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food. Here's a primer to get you up to speed on these controversial substances—what they are, where they're found, and what's known about their safety.

Are Antibiotics Making Us Fat?

Are Antibiotics Making Us Fat?

by Berkeley Wellness  

pig farm industry image

According the the FDA, sales of antibiotics to use in pigs, chicken, cows, and seafood rose 20 percent between 2009 and 2013. About 32.6 million pounds of antibiotics were going into the animals we eat to promote faster growth or prevent disease.

Whole Grain Pasta Tips

Whole Grain Pasta Tips

by Berkeley Wellness  

whole grain pasta image

One good way to get more healthful whole grains into your diet is to switch to whole-grain pasta. Here's what to look for on the label, plus tips for cooking and serving.

Hidden Lead in Your Home

Hidden Lead in Your Home

by Berkeley Wellness  

ceramic mugs image

You've probably heard the news about lead being found in some imported toys. But did you know that dishes and glassware in your home might also harbor that toxic metal? Here's what to look for, and what to do with potentially lead-contaminated items.

Got a Pain in Your Wallet?
Wellness Tip

Got a Pain in Your Wallet?

by Berkeley Wellness  

man's wallet in back pocket image

It may sound made-up, but "wallet sciatica" is a real condition, caused by an overstuffed wallet pressing on the sciatic nerve in the buttock. Here's why it's a problem, and what men can do to prevent or ease the pain.

Get the Right Blood Pressure Reading

Get the Right Blood Pressure Reading

by Berkeley Wellness  

older woman blood pressure at home image

Some people are misdiagnosed with hypertension because their blood pressure is elevated in medical settings. A practice called ambulatory monitoring can give a better assessment of your real blood pressure—and help you avoid unnecessary treatment.

Diabetes and Your Memory
Wellness Tip

Diabetes and Your Memory

by Berkeley Wellness  

older African American couple looking at photos image

Another reason to take steps to prevent diabetes: It may damage your brain as you age, especially if it's not well-controlled. Our experts review the latest research.

Pages