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Bremerton comes in at No. 8 in healthiest small cities list

February 26th, 2014 by josh farley

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Believe it or not, Bremerton is a pretty healthy place. In fact, Gallup has named our home to be the eighth healthiest small city in the nation, according to a story in Daily Finance from earlier this month.

So here’s the deal. Gallup, in producing its Healthways Well-Being Index, looked at local obesity and diabetes rates, as well as the percentages of people who frequently exercise and eat produce, and who are optimistic about their city. They also looked at what percentage of the population is uninsured. Put all those indicators together and voila! Bremerton’s No. 8.

Gallup grouped the Bremerton and Silverdale areas, so the population totaled 60,000 (Bremerton proper weighs in at close to 40,000). Below are the indicators they examined.  The number on the left is Bremerton’s; the number on the right denotes the national average for communities under 300,000.

Diabetes rate: 11.5% / 10.5%

Obesity rate: 24.5% / 25.4%

Frequent exercise: 58.2% / 54.3%

Eat produce frequently: 60.2% / 58.2%

City optimism: 62% / 58.8%

Uninsured 11.5% / 14.8%

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Here are some observations from the data from someone who is an expert a know-it-all reporter. Our diabetes and and obesity rates pretty much mirror the national averages. But Gallup thinks we exercise and eat produce more frequently than the rest of the country. We are also more optimistic about our area than most.

With our Navy presence here, I speculate that many who live in Bremerton and Silverdale have to keep in pretty good shape, and that means regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Also, we have fewer uninsured residents here. Perhaps that’s due to a robust portion of our local workforce clocking in at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility — one of the state’s largest daytime workforces — where health insurance is the standard.

Lastly, I would ask you to just take a look around. Hard to dispute that where we live — surrounded by the blue waters of the Puget Sound, white capped Olympic Mountains and thick forests of towering conifers — isn’t beautiful.

As for being optimistic about their city? I don’t know. You tell me, Bremerton.

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2 Responses to “Bremerton comes in at No. 8 in healthiest small cities list”

  1. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Well, what the data on health is being used for defiantly makes a difference in how it is interpreted. I suspect that the “Silverdale” portion of the study/population is impacting the results to be healthier than they would be with just Bremerton.

    By comparison the economic, health and diet/exercise information that is gathered by the Bremerton School District paints a different picture and it needs that picture to be different. It is a picture that uses the data, to prove for funding purposes, that it is a low income, less than healthy lifestyle district that needs additional funds to compensate and still meet the same education goals as a wealthier and healthier district.

    It is all about how the data is collected and how it is going to be used.

  2. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Dang… I meant “definitely makes….”

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