Congratulations Bethesda, MD (and the rest of the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Fredrick statistical area) the CDC ranked you the 30th healthiest place to live in the US. Handily beating out Northern Virginia, which came in at 41. 30th doesn't sound so bad when the list has 184 entries, putting Bethesda comfortably in the top 20%.
From there, things get a bit more confusing. It is supposedly based on 2007 data, but the study that is linked by several news outlets is for 2006. "Surveillance of Certain Health Behaviors and Conditions Among States and Selected Local Areas --- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), United States, 2006" That's a mouthful. Further, the CDC says "A news outlet recently conducted an analysis of CDC′s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2006 data, released August 2008. The outlet ranked some cities healthiest vs. unhealthiest, but CDC does not rank cities."
Other news articles reference a particular part of the BRFSS the Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends (SMART) database. It doesn't explicitly rank them, but I guess you could get a decent ranking if you put the time into it. It also has 2007 data, so I bet that is the true source of the report.
It has all sorts of nuggets of information, for instance, 10.5% of the people here are binge drinkers, 34.3% are overweight and 18.1% are obese, even though 31% consumed 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day.
[where: Montgomery County, MD]
[where: Bethesda, MD]