Albuquerque tops magazine's latest 'Fittest Cities' list; Las Vegas fattest

Friday, February 9th 2007, 10:33 pm
By: News On 6

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Flanked by the Sandia Mountain and home to a cottonwood forest that runs through the heart of the city, sunny Albuquerque has been named America's fittest big city by Men's Fitness magazine.

``Albuquerque is turned on, and recognition like this just fuels that phenomenon,'' Mayor Martin Chavez said. ``Nothing succeeds like success, or I guess you could say nothing is better than fitness.''

Albuquerque, which touts its recreation, including the 10,678-foot mountain and the forest that runs along the Rio Grande, was named the 13th-fittest city last year.

The magazine's nonscientific survey of 50 cities in its March issue lists Seattle as No. 2 in the most-fit rankings, followed by Colorado Springs; Minneapolis; Tucson, Ariz.; Denver; San Francisco; Baltimore; Portland, Ore.; and Honolulu.

Its Top 10 fattest cities are Las Vegas, up from No. 2 last year; San Antonio; Miami; Mesa, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Houston; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Detroit; and San Jose, Calif.

A message left after business hours with the office of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was not immediately returned Friday.

``This is not a scientific list; this is a commonsense list,'' said Neal Boulton, editor of Men's Fitness. He said he puts out the fittest and fattest lists each year for one reason _ ``to motivate folks to look at simple things in their lives they can do to be healthy.''

His survey examines lifestyle factors in each city, including fast-food restaurants per capita and availability of gyms or bike paths.