BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Everyone's heard of Minnesota's Twin Cities, but people looking to lose weight or stay slim might consider moving to one of America's "Thin Cities" -- five communities with the nation's lowest obesity rates.
"Moving to a city with a low obesity rate absolutely could help you," says Reggie Ramsey of Healthways (HWAY), whose Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveys thousands of Americans throughout the year on a wide variety of health topics. "You'd be surrounded by people in the same situation, so you'd be far more likely to take weight off or not put it back on."
Ramsey says research has found that a person's social network has a powerful impact on how healthy or unhealthy a lifestyle an individual chooses.
"We've actually mapped out populations and found that if you're a smoker or obese or don't exercise, you tend to have friends who are smokers or are obese or don't exercise," he says. "But if you have the social support not to smoke or be obese or skip exercise, that tends to be contagious."Here's a look at the five U.S. locales the Gallup-Healthways survey has found have America's lowest obesity levels -- along with the skinny on local real estate conditions. Median asking prices are from Realtor.com as of March (the latest month with data available), while the number of available home refers to listings within 20 miles of a given city's limits.
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