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Houston retains ‘fat city’ title

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HOUSTON (AP) — When it comes to flab, Houston is No. 1.

For the second consecutive year, Men's Fitness magazine gave the title of fattest to the nation's fourth-largest city.

The magazine considers air and water quality, television viewing habits, obesity rates, availability of parks and open space, climate and nutrition when assigning ranks.

Later this month, Houston plans to launch a get-fit effort inspired by cheesesteak-loving Philadelphia, which implemented a citywide fitness campaign after the magazine named it the flab capital in 1999.

In response, health clubs offered discounts, businesses sponsored lunch-hour workouts and restaurants presented leaner dishes. Philadelphia dropped to No. 3 last year, and this year is No. 4 on the list.

Chicago ranked No. 2, followed by Detroit.

Houston isn't the only Texas city battling the bulge. Dallas weighs in at No. 5; San Antonio at No. 7, and Fort Worth rounds out Texas in the top 10 at No. 8.

Only one Texas city, Austin, is among the magazine's top 25 fittest cities at No. 16. The magazine ranked Colorado Springs the nation's fittest city, followed by Denver, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.

The magazine's February "fattest city" issue appears on newsstands Monday.