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Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Poll: Tampa Bay Worst Large Metro Area for Well-Being

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A bit of bad news on this Good Friday: If you thought living in the land of sunshine and freshly squeezed orange juice would make you the picture of health, then you're sadly mistaken.

In a new Gallup-Healthways poll, Tampa Bay scored lowest for well-being among the country's 52 largest metro areas.

The findings were based on phone interviews last year with 353,563 adults, who were asked to rank their hometowns on six factors: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities.

Here's an excerpt from the results:

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., displaced Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., for the large metro area with the lowest wellbeing, due mostly to low life evaluations and emotional health scores.

Apparently, what happens in Vegas... isn't as bad as what happens in Tampa Bay.

Among metro areas with at least 1 million residents, Tampa Bay had the lowest composite score. Here's your bottom five, America:

  1. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (64.7)
  2. Las Vegas, Nev. (64.8) 
  3. Providence, R.I. (65.0)
  4. Louisville, Ky. (65.0)
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (65.1)

The big cities that scored the best were as follows:

  1. Washington, D.C. (71.3)
  2. San Francisco, Calif. (71.0)
  3. San Jose, Calif. (70.8)
  4. Denver, Colo. (70.4)
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (70.3)

Now, before you pack up that U-Haul and head for D.C., it's worth noting that the highest-ranking metro area -- large or small -- was Lincoln, Neb. Worst off overall was Charleston, W. Va.