A recent Gallup study revealed Yakima is the fourth fattest community in the country. Remember last year when Tri-Cities was in the top 10? Bellingham on the West Side is among the healthiest cities (and the West Side did well last year, too). So why are we on the East Side so fat?

It has been suggested it could be poverty. People with more money buy healthier food, have more time to prepare it at home, have more time to exercise, are happier and more willing to exercise, and are more likely to have a gym pass or bicycle.

It could be cultural. People with a "Western" mentality eat more meat and fast food while people with a "metropolitan" mentality drink more spinach smoothies and soy lattes with their vegetarian lunches.

It could be education. People with more education tend to take better care of their bodies.

But Tri-Cities and Yakima are beautiful places with excellent trails, parks, affordable gyms and court clubs. We have smart people who take care of themselves and their families. So what could be making the difference?