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Issue Date: March 2005 Issue

Fat Chance

Jim Vickers

It seems almost inconceivable that we could have collectively gone from lumpy to lean in less than a year. But Men's Fitness magazine's annual breakdown of the fattest and fittest cities in the United States has some surprisingly good news for the Cleveland metropolitan area. That is, if you actually believe we're one of the top-25 fittest cities in the country (No. 24 to be exact).

If you're confused, it's probably because you recall we finished No. 9 on the tight-pants side of that same list last year. And, like last year, we once again claimed the title of "Junk Food Capital of the United States" with the magazine pointing out we have three times more pizza joints and doughnut shops than the average. Meanwhile, our climate gets slammed with an "F" when it comes to how conducive the region is to, say, taking a nice leisurely run outside in the middle of January.

What saved the day for us in this year's survey was the better access to gyms and health clubs and less time zoning out in front of the television. There's also our relatively stress-free commute, which is one of the fastest in the nation. Maybe the only mistake the magazine's editors made was assuming everyone is spending that extra time each morning on the treadmill rather than standing in line for crullers.

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