For a city that smacks its lips at $.50 chicken wings and endures seven months of Siberia, Buffalo doesn't seem like it would rank among the most fit cities in America.
This study by BodyBuilding.com, however, rebels against perceptions.
The Nickel City ranks No. 5 out of the website's Strength in Numbers: 10 Ripped Cities article posted on April 25, an achievement that both shocked and planted an immediate skepticism in us.
Is BodyBuilding.com's study authoritative? The data was pulled from the site's affiliated social fitness network called Body Space, in which there are over eight million members.
From that total, the number of registered members from each major city were narrowed down by those with under 10 percent body fat, and then divided by the total of each city's users that posted body fat statistics.
Cities were then ranked by this percentage, and Buffalo's 25.7 percent beat out Fort Wayne, Ind. (25.3 percent); Columbus, Ohio (25.1 percent); St. Paul, Minn. (25 percent); Baton Rouge, La. (25 percent); and Billings, Mont. (25 percent).
Here are the four cities considered more fit than Buffalo:
1) Sioux Falls, S.D. (31.4 percent)
2) Lincoln, Neb. (29 percent)
3) Boise, Idaho (26.6 percent)
4) Madison, Wis. (26.2 percent)
Look, we're not a Gym, Tan, Laundry city -- beaches aren't sprinkled along our waterfront, and sometimes it snows in May, so boasting an eight-pack and stunning obliques at the beach all summer may not be our chief priority.
But, Buffalo is improving rapidly in walkability and bike-ability, CrossFit has developed a dedicated, cult-like following, and trendy gyms like BikeorBar and Fierce Fitness (referenced in the BodyBuilding.com post) have slowly changed fitness mentalities from reluctant to eager. There's no shortage of cheap gym memberships, either, as Fitness 19 and LA Fitness offer bargain rates.
Keep up the good work, Buffalonians. America is beginning to check out your sleek, healthy physiques.