The Big Apple's policies keep the doctor away.
CityHealth on Wednesday released its first official ratings of city government policies that affect their residents' health and New York ranked first among the nation's 40 largest cities.
CityHealth, a nonprofit advisory organization, awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the cities on the basis of nine categories of health-oriented public policies.
New York City earned eight gold medals (one for overall performance), which is two more than Boston, Los Angeles and Washington — the country’s next best for how well the policies keep citizens healthy.
The CityHealth initiative, which coincides with the launch of www.cityhealth.org, based its designations on scientific research, consultations with experts and legislators and public opinion polls. The initiative also provides policy recommendations for the cities that trailed in their rankings and others that weren’t included in the “big 40.”
New York earned gold for clean (smoke-free) indoor air, its enforcement of the tobacco 21 law, restaurant grading and monitoring, complete and safe streets, healthy food availability, inclusionary zoning, and quality pre-kindergarten education.
Its less extraordinary performance was in paid sick leave policy, which earned a bronze medal, and alcohol sales control — which did not earn a medal.
Boston received medals in every category, and earned six gold: Tobacco 21 enforcement, restaurant grading, healthy food supply, pre-k education and alcohol sales control — and a gold for overall achievement.
“We want every person, in every city, to live the healthiest possible life and we’ve identified ways that cities can make significant improvements,” said Ed Hunter, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, the founder of the CityHealth initiative. “Good health extends into every aspect of our lives — from paid sick days to early education, from safe streets to safe food.”