INDIANAPOLIS -- The quality of life in the city of Indianapolis could use some improvement, according to a new report released this month.
CityHealth on Wednesday released its first official assessment of how the 40 largest cities in the U.S. rate when it comes to policies that can make lasting impacts on your quality of life.
Not many of the nation’s largest cities are up to standard.
CityHealth awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to cities on the basis of nine different categories of health-oriented public policies.
Cities earning at least three medals received an overall medal rating. Indianapolis didn’t hit that mark.
In fact, Indianapolis was one of 21 cities to receive no medal at all.
The city ranked in only two categories: Complete Streets (Gold) and Clean Indoor Air (Silver).
Five cities received gold ratings; five received silver and nine received bronze.
Only three cities, Boston, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., earned medals in every category.
Cities were ranked by the following categories:
- Clean Indoor Air: Comprehensive smoke-free air laws protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke and reduce smokers’ consumption of tobacco—the leading cause of preventable death in the US.
- Complete Streets: Complete streets policies unlock opportunities by allowing city residents to safely walk, bike, drive and take public transit around their community.
- Paid Sick Leave: Paid sick leave laws reduce the spread of contagious illnesses, increase employment and income stability, and save cities money in health care costs.
- High-Quality, Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Children who attend high-quality pre-k are more likely to succeed in school, go on to stable jobs and earn more as adults—all of which are linked to better health and stronger communities.
- Affordable Housing, Inclusionary Zoning: As cities grow, it’s important that residents of all income levels have access to affordable housing that sets them up for good health.
- Alcohol Sales Control: Neighborhoods with high concentrations of alcohol outlets are linked to more drinking and higher rates of violence and driving under the influence. Policies that control the number of alcohol sales outlets can reduce crime, increase safety, and reduce spending on health care and criminal justice.
- Tobacco 21: Curbing tobacco use among young adults has been shown to decrease the number of people who start—and continue—smoking.
- Food Safety and Restaurant Inspection Rating: Policies requiring food establishments to publicly post safety inspection “grades” empower consumers, reduce foodborne illness rates and cut down on health care costs. Policies requiring food establishments to publicly post safety inspection “grades” empower consumers, reduce foodborne illness rates and cut down on health care costs.
- Health Food Procurement: Policies that make sure healthy food options are available on public property aid city residents in making smart decisions that will help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
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