U.S. News & World Report: Oklahoma City’s Renaissance
Oklahoma City’s Road From Fat to Fit: The people of Oklahoma City reached their collective weight loss goal five years ago, but they aren’t stopping anytime soon.
In 2007, Oklahoma City’s reputation was dealt a one-two punch: The city of nearly 550,000 was dubbed both “the nation’s fast food capital” and one of “America’s fattest cities” by Fortune and Men’s Fitness magazines, respectively. The number of obese adults was becoming dangerously high in a city where streets were congested with car traffic and absent of many bikes or runners – or even sidewalks.
A decade later, the city is in the middle of a transformation: While the state still has among the highest adult obesity rates in the nation – climbing from 32.2 percent to 33.9 percent between 2012 and 2015 – obesity rates in Oklahoma City dropped from 31.8 percent to 29.5 percent during that time frame, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
It isn’t just the people who look different in Oklahoma City: There are sidewalks, wellness centers, a 70-acre urban park slated to open downtown next year and 57 more miles of biking and running trails than there were 10 years ago, fueled by a $777 million taxpayer-funded capital improvement program called MAPS 3.