Men's Health magazine ranks Toledo last in heart health

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 3:28 PM EDT
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The history of Toledo put us on the map. The heart health of Toledo is putting us at the bottom.

In the June 2020 issue of Men's Health magazine, an article on the back page ranks the 100 largest cities in America in terms of heart health. Toledo comes in last.

We were second worst in measures of physical activity and cardiovascular disease, and we had the highest obesity rate of them all.

“Prevalence of fast food places and the ease of which you can get fast food is usually not healthy," said Dr. Blair Grubb, who specializes in cardiovascular medicine a the University of Toledo Medical Center.

It's not just diet, according to Dr. Grubb. Exercise and physical activity play a crucial role in heart health. The weather in Toledo, he adds, tends to keep us indoors and less active six months out of the year.

“People who live in say California or places where the weather is nicer during the course of the year will tend to exercise more because it’s just easier," he explains. "You know, go outside, walk. You can bike. You can do stuff. Here, for 6 months of the year, it’s very difficult because of the weather.”

Also, the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide Stay Home orders, Dr. Grubb says, are leading to an increase of unhealthy habits.

“Some of the data that’s coming out about the results of the pandemic are that the average American has gained 10-15 pounds during the period of quarantine," says Dr. Grubb. "Smoking rates are up incredibly high compared to previously. The consumption of alcohol, or the purchases of alcohol, have gone up 35%.”

Dr. Grubb cautions we can't change the pandemic, but we can change how we react to it. So, our history does not have to dictate our future, even when it comes to health.

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