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Photos: Here's why Boulder is the least obese American city for third year in a row

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First, the facts and figures. Gallup's just-released findings put Boulder's obesity rate at a measly 12.5 percent, as compared to McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, the most obese metro area, which tips the obesity scale at a whopping 38.5 percent.

Here's the list of most and least obese cities. Note that three other Colorado cities -- Fort Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs -- appear in the least-obese top ten:

The obesity figures come into play in the contentment rating, too. The website 247WallSt.com factors in obesity to its rubric for determining the least miserable U.S. cities. By its measure, Boulder is the second most content, for these reasons:
Boulder residents were among the nation's best at practicing healthy behaviors. They were among the least likely respondents to smoke and among the most likely to eat healthy all day. Likely because of this, residents scored well for physical health as well. In Boulder, 85.6% of residents had no health problems preventing them from age-appropriate activities -- the third highest rate in the nation. Every year the city hosts BolderBoulder, a 10K race that had more than 50,000 participants in 2012.
Fort Collins makes this roster, too, finishing fifth. And the winner? Lincoln, Nebraska.

Guess pollsters don't agree with the phrase "fat and happy."

To test the obesity theory, we consulted a Westword slide show entitled "Sunset Party at Boulder Reservoir," and sure enough, Gallup's results appear to hold up. The get-together features plenty of food and brew, yet virtually everyone on hand looks to be at a healthy weight -- fit, rather than spent-too-long-in-a-sweat-lodge emaciated.

Okay, maybe one guy has a bit of a gut -- but he's well under 12.5 percent of the crowd. See what we mean by checking out the photos below.

Continue for more photos showing why Boulder has been named the least obese American city for the third year in a row.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts