CDC Launches Interactive Site Comparing Health Data Of 500 Cities

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new website offers people in Chicago a chance to compare how the city stacks up health-wise against the likes of New York, Los Angeles, and the rest of the 500 largest cities in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention has unveiled the new site, called the 500 Cities Project.

The project identifies 27 measures for various chronic health conditions, along with how prevalent they are in those cities. Users can compare three different cities at a time.

The various measures analyzed in the study include obesity, smoking, binge drinking, sleeping less than 7 hours a night. It also looks at health outcomes like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

The information will help urban planners make their cities healthier, according to Don Schwarz, vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which partnered with the CDC on the project.

“It can help particularly in planning for how cities should think about things like parks, recreation, transportation, in order to improve the health of people,” he said. “People are doing work with the urban plans for Milwaukee to figure out where to locate access to transportation, what to do about food resources.”

Users can even compare 18 cities in Illinois with each other. For instance, the site suggests Chicago has a greater prevalence of obesity and insufficient sleep than Evanston.

Compared to New York and Los Angeles, Chicago also has a higher percentage of adults who smoke.

Among the other Illinois cities included on the site are Aurora, Naperville, and Joliet.

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