In a recent assessment of the country’s top 40 cities, Chicago was recognized as one of the five healthiest, earning the only gold medal in the Midwest.

CityHealth, a new initiative by the de Beaumont Foundation, looked at the top 40 cities on nine different policies to determine which has the strongest focus on improving health and well-being.

The nine policies included paid sick leave; high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten; affordable housing/inclusionary zoning; complete streets; alcohol sales control; tobacco 21; clean indoor air; food safety and restaurant inspection; and healthy food procurement. Chicago was one of the five cities to receive a gold medal in its overall ranking.

“This report confirms what we already know: Chicago is leading the nation when it comes to developing and implementing policies that make a difference in the lives of our residents,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

“From raising the purchasing age of tobacco to 21 to guaranteeing paid sick time for more workers; and delivering universal pre-k for low-income children and ensuring clean and pollution-free environments for all residents to enjoy-we are building in a healthier, stronger Chicago today and for future generations.”

With the Windy City’s recognition as the “Most Bike-Friendly City in the U.S.” last fall, Chicago’s gold in the “complete streets” category is no surprise; the category “assesses how well a city safely accommodates all modes of transportation – walking, biking, public transportation and driving,” Chicago Tonight reports.

However, Chicago received a silver medal in both paid sick leave policies and universal pre-kindergarten program. The assessment also reports that Chicago could improve policies ensuring healthy food potions in public places and restaurant inspections – more than half of the city’s high-risk food establishments did not fulfill the inspection requirements in 2015.

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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run several shorter distance races and two half marathons. Her goal for 2017 is to try a triathlon, and eventually do the Chicago Marathon. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism. Working at Chicago Athlete, Holly has been able to explore photography a lot more, which is one of her main hobbies. She enjoys taking photos at endurance races, and is also passionate about nature photography and portraiture.


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