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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Publishers Letter

The 2014 American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index (AFI) report ranked Atlanta 16th out of 50 U.S. cities evaluated for personal health. The AFI aims to measure health and community fitness at the metropolitan level so that community leaders have the information necessary to understand the influences on physical fitness and healthy eating for residents.

According to the report, Atlanta didn't do badly, but it didn't do well, either. We excel at recreational facilities, with more golf courses, park units, recreation centers, swimming pools and tennis courts than many other cities. We don't use them enough though, with fewer than 27 percent of residents meeting aerobic and strength activity guidelines; only 1.5 percent are bicycling or walking to work, and there is no state requirement for physical education in school.

As a result, Atlanta exhibits high rates of obesity, asthma, coronary heart disease and diabetes. The good news is there are 11.5 farmers' markets per million residents. The bad news is that fewer than than 28 percent of Atlanta residents consume two or more fruits per day, and even fewer consume three or more vegetables per day.

Statistics, however, can be misleading. There are legions of health-conscious people that eat right, including vegans, raw foodists and others that read labels assiduously. They play active sports and practice yoga, tai chi and qigong, and seek all sorts of ways to keep their bodies vibrant and strong. I know this because they are our readers.

If you are a fan of Natural Awakenings, we're asking for your help to illuminate the positive, healthy living community that exists here in Atlanta. Here's what we need:

(1)   Help us build the most complete, online healthy-living, planet-friendly Atlanta resource guide possible at It's free, so encourage your favorite healthy living businesses to enter themselves. Or, if they're too busy, be their local champion and do it for them.

(2)   Consider becoming an account executive for Natural Awakenings of Atlanta. We need skillful sales professionals that are passionate about healthy living and relationship-building to help us build mutually supportive community partnerships with healthy, green, sustainable, local businesses. Right now there's only two of us and thousands of them. We need your help to gather them together, and we know there are people that need jobs.

(3)   Tell us what you need to know more about to improve your own personal health and well-being. We truly want to know.


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