Newswise — Indianapolis (August 6, 2019) – National Farmers Market Week is being celebrated across the United States this week, and Washington, D.C. has extra reason to celebrate. D.C. ranks number one for farmers markets among the 100 largest U.S. cities, according to the 2019 American Fitness Index® rankings published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation.

The Fitness Index annually evaluates America’s 100 largest cities using 33 health behaviors, chronic diseases and community infrastructure indicators. Farmers Markets are one of the built environment indicators, and D.C. leads the way, offering 82.1 farmers markets per one million residents. That’s nearly four-and-a-half times greater than the 18.5 average across all 100 cities. Minneapolis, Minn.; Madison, Wis.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Arlington, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Boston, Mass.; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa. and Anchorage, Alaska round out the top 10 list for farmers markets.

“Our research-backed Fitness Index rankings reveal how well communities work to achieve healthier and more physically active populations,” said ACSM Director of Strategic Health Programs Gretchen Patch, M.P.H., who oversees the Fitness Index. “In honor of National Farmers Market Week, we applaud these top cities and their commitment to support healthy, active lifestyles.”

Proximity to fresh produce affects healthy eating, and farmers markets play a large role in the accessibility of nourishing food. In fact, local farmers markets have been shown to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, especially when paired with nutrition assistance programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

“Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is the ideal way to make sure your body receives necessary vitamins and minerals,” added Patch. “Local farmers markets provide a place to purchase healthy, seasonal produce.” 

A diet high in fruits and vegetables decreases the risk for many chronic diseases. Fitness Index scores show that adults tend to eat fruit more regularly than vegetables. Across all 100 cities, an average 33.4% of adults reported eating at least two servings of fruit per day, and 16.4% reported eating at least three or more servings of vegetables per day.

Residents and community leaders of Arlington, Va., which earned the title of “America’s Fittest City” in 2019, understand the health benefits associated with fruits and vegetables. They are the only city to rank in the top 10 across the indicators for farmers markets, consuming more than two fruits per day and eating more than three vegetables a day. Madison, Wis.; Nashville, Tenn.; San Jose, Calif. and Anchorage, Alaska rank in the top 10 for at least two of those three indicators.

Farmers Markets

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Minneapolis, Minn.
  3. Madison, Wis. 
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Arlington, Va.
  6. Richmond, Va.
  7. Boston, Mass.
  8. Cleveland, Ohio
  9. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  10. Anchorage, Alaska

 Consuming 2+ Fruits/Day

  1. Madison, Wis.
  2. Newark, N.J.
  3. Fresno, Calif.
  4. Nashville, Tenn.
  5. Boise, Idaho
  6. San Diego, Calif.
  7. Chula Vista, Calif.
  8. Arlington, Va.
  9. San Jose, Calif.
  10. Arlington, Texas

 Consuming 3+ Vegetables/Day

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Nashville, Tenn.
  3. Arlington, Va.
  4. Irving, Texas
  5. Santa Ana, Calif.
  6. Anaheim, Calif.
  7. Irvine, Calif.
  8. Anchorage, Alaska
  9. San Jose, Calif.
  10. Garland, Texas

 You can access the full rankings and scores, summary report, city comparison tool and other insights on the American Fitness Index website.


About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to improve educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details can be found at

About the Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, visit

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