This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 3, 2007 2:18 PM. The previous post in this blog was Both sides now. The next post in this blog is False alarm. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I'll drink to that

Reports have it that Portland has been ranked second-healthiest city in the United States (after Seattle) by something called Cooking Light magazine. The Portland Development Commission is crowing about it here, and there's reference to it here, but I can't seem to find the original article on the Cooking Light website. (Although the classic slow-cooker recipes look interesting.)

Anyway, congratulations to us! We're healthy!

I wonder why.

Comments (15)

hey last night i caught a little blurb out of the corner of my eye on our local station that said something like "Healthy diets can cause cancer". It ended up being about the genetics behind colon cancer.

Well, after that, who cares? Why bother?

Since i've been paying attention, Oregon has had: The fattest population, the hungriest population, the healthiest people who feel like crap...

That Washington, D.C. is third gets me a little suspicious...

I thought Denver ranked as the healthiest city??

And speaking of food...did you know that Hershey's bought Dagoba?


It seems to me that we recently had an article in the bOregonian about all the benzene in the air (thanks to motorists and the gasoline distributors).

Benzene is healthy?

Yeah, riiiiiight.

Since my wife is a subscriber, I have the mag right here. The criteria were:
1.Restaurants with James Beard Award nominations
2.Zagat ratings
3.# of organic restaurants
4.# of chefs
5.Chef's wages (I'd imagine OR and WA high minimum wage helped catapult them ahead in this category)
6.# of farmer's markets
7.Residents consumption of fresh produce
8.Does the city have a Trader Joe's and/or Whole Foods?
9.Overall health of residents
10.Rates of diabetes
11.Average weight in healthy range
12.Importance of exercise to residents
13.Amount of parks and green space and whether it is well maintained
14.Is the city easy to explore on foot?

They say they used quantifiable data from the CDC, USDA, and other organizations and calculated ratings on a per capita basis. No other details given and the Portland writeup won't appear until the November issue.

Do they give a chart with the tallies in each category? (I suspect not, but just curious.)

Nope. They don't give any numbers, just a sidebar with the above listed and their source.

It appears to be more of a travel oriented piece where some "local" gives tips on where to go and where to eat when visiting. This issue only covers Nos. 20-11, and each gets 1 page or less. I can only assume the top 10 will get a bit more in depth.

Portland is a great place to eat. But most restaurant food here (and elsewhere) does not seem at all "healthy" to me. Butter, baby!

Chefs only get paid minimum wage?

No, but when your line cooks are getting $7.80 at a minimum, I'd imagine that tends to push up the entire wage scale.

I have subscribed to Cooking Light for almost 4 yrs now. They have outstanding recipes and everytime I cook for guests, I use their recipes. Tasty, easy for the most part, and more healthy than most recipes.

They also sell annual cookbooks containing all the recipes from the previous year's magazines. If you don't want the magazine, at least check out their cookbook. Cheaper on those auction sites or used through Amazon.

yeah, cooking light is awesome. now that we have kids, time is critical and their recipes let you cook great food without the fussy steps of food and wine or gourmet

I am familiar with the CDC's ominously titled "Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System," which was Cooking Light's source for much of its information. So far, the system does not do any actual surveillance but relies on telephone surveys. They do no statistical analyses of the survey data, but the analyses I have done suggests that it is questionable.

For example, from one year to another the number of people in Oregon, Georgia, and other states who are considered obese has jumped from very low to high back to low numbers. This suggests that there are a lot of problems wth data collection. Using Cooking Light's criteria, Portland may be a "healthy" city one year and Atlanta may be much healthier the next.

One of Cooking Light's questions is "Are residents in good health?" Florida scores very low on this criterion in the survey mainly because the average age of residents is higher than other states. So it is no surprise that none of the "healthy" cities on Cooking Light's list are in Florida.

All in all, this is just another subjective "list" made to sell magazines without a truly objective source of data to back it up.

I guess nobody told them about the terrible benzene poluted air in Portland. Oh well. At least we have good cancer doctors in Portland.

Clicky Web Analytics