Colorado has the lowest obesity rate of any state in the U.S. and other rankings have indicated its population as one of the healthiest in the country. The mountains are a part of the reason for this phenomenon, but they don’t quite explain it all.
According to recent rankings, Colorado is among the healthiest states in the U.S. It has the lowest rate of obesity, with a mere 19.8% of adults obese. It’s not difficult to see why this is so, given that Coloradans have access to mountain recreation activities all year long. To explain why the population of Colorado is fitter than people in other mountain states, we need to look at the state’s culture.
- Many mountain states have a rural, rugged ethos that often goes along with unhealthy eating habits, like a diet that’s high in red meat.
- Unlike other Rocky Mountain states, Colorado has several major cities near the mountains, so the health drawbacks of a typical rural lifestyle are less prevalent.
- Residents of Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins have easy access to natural groceries and other health products, and the city life offers enough leisure time to take advantage of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, etc.
Health and Lifestyle Companies
- Colorado is home to several major natural health companies, adding to the culture of fitness and well-being.
- For example, the herbal tea giant Celestial Seasonings is based in Boulder, Colorado. Although the company has been owned by New York-based Hain Celestial Group since a merger in 2000, Celestial Seasonings is still a central part of the business scene in Colorado.
- Gaiam is another major company that promotes a healthy lifestyle in the Centennial State. Gaiam is best known for its yoga mats and other yoga products, and they offer a wide range of other fitness and healthy living products as well. The company is based in Louisville, near Boulder.
- The state is home to several Olympic training centers. This gives it an added advantage of a wonderful facility, and an opportunity to attract many Olympians-to-be from around the world.
- Other natural well-being companies contribute to the healthy culture of Colorado, and this culture tends to perpetuate itself.
- Colorado has gained reputation as a place where people love the outdoors, are fit, active, and strive for a healthy living. It’s no surprise that this culture draws like-minded people to the state. Much of Colorado’s culture is sustained by people who are not originally from Colorado.
- There is a popular bumper sticker that mimics the Colorado license plate design and reads “NATIVE.” People use this bumper sticker to show their pride about the state being their birthplace.
- Mostly though, residents of Colorado get along with each other no matter where they hail from, and they are bound together by the uniqueness of the state.
- Colorado’s obsession with healthy living does have a few drawbacks. Some people find that Coloradans can be uptight about their lifestyle choices. The popularity of gluten-free and “paleo” diets can lead to awkward social situations.
- In Colorado, it is not uncommon to find oneself at an event where the only type of food served is “vegetables”.
- Also, some people can be judgmental of others’ lifestyle choices, owing to their passion for healthy living. This is a stereotypical attitude, especially in Boulder. Of course, stereotypes are only so valuable, but people who spend time in Colorado are likely to encounter this attitude at least once.
In general, Colorado residents are proud of their state and its status as the least obese state in the nation. This reputation attracts business to the state, which is good for their economy. The result is a unique culture and ethos that is beginning to have a greater cultural and political impact on the United States as a whole. In conclusion, we can say that the geography, weather, infrastructure, and most importantly, the health-consciousness of the Coloradans, are major factors that have made Colorado a healthy state.