Just how SunIntelligent is your city?

American Academy of Dermatology

American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology just released a new study ranking 26 cities based on survey respondents’ answers to a variety of questions testing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward preventing and detecting skin cancers.

Not only does the study provide interesting and important news, it’s the kind of survey that generates intense media and public interest. Before delving into the survey, for example, we immediately checked Minneapolis, where SunAWARE is headquartered. It’s #20 on the list. Not a winning grade.

But however interesting it might be to see the specific rankings, it’s the overall results that are sobering.

The survey found:

  • Seven in 10 respondents (72%) agreed people look better with a tan.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66%) believe people look healthier with a tan.
  • The vast majority of respondents (70%) do not apply sunscreen on an average day.
  • Sixty percent of respondents believe sun exposure is good for their health.

The news wasn’t uniformly bad, however.

  • Seventy-five percent of respondents indicate they will do anything possible to prevent skin cancer.
  • Eighty percent are concerned about skin cancer and feel it’s important to protect themselves.

So the real question is if the vast majority of respondents are concerned about skin cancer, then why are behaviors so poor?

We think the answer lies in the amount and consistency of information publicly promulgated. In cities like Seattle, Minneapolis and Chicago, for example, it’s easy to forget that sun protection is a year-round effort. Attitudes and behaviors will change if a effective, simple and proactive message is consistently reinforced.

Here are the top five sunaware cities:

  1. Hartford
  2. Salt Lake City
  3. Denver
  4. Tampa
  5. Boston

Here are the lowest ranking five cities:

No. 22 – Los Angeles
No. 23 – Seattle
No. 24 – Cleveland
No. 25 – Chicago
No. 26 – Pittsburgh

To see the entire study, go to the American Academy of Dermatology website.

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