When buying a home, we agonize over school districts and neighborhoods. We calculate how far we'll have to drive to work. We don't usually think much about whether the businesses around us can keep us healthy.

It sounds impossible to gauge. But anecdotally, it isn't, especially with the help of Yelp.

Uptown is probably Dallas' healthiest neighborhood, according to Yelp data. (Pictured here: a salad from Southpaw's Organic Grill on McKinney Avenue.)

Uptown is probably Dallas' healthiest neighborhood, according to Yelp data. (Pictured here: a salad from Southpaw's Organic Grill on McKinney Avenue.)

Lara Solt

Folks at Yelp created the heat map above just for The Dallas Morning News to show the highest areas where the word "healthy" was mentioned in D-FW Yelp reviews. 

From a broad view, it's possible these hot spots are, in fact, D-FW's healthiest areas. It could show you where you're more likely to stay slim.

It could also lead you astray: Rural homeowners in North Texas might be healthy eaters and they might not be, but they're unlikely to show up on this map because there are fewer businesses in less-developed areas.

So take these takeaways with a grain of salt -- or not, if you're watching your blood pressure! -- and see if your 'hood made the map:

  • Uptown is super healthy. Right? Seems like it. In this very small neighborhood, you've got Lyfe Kitchen, Buda Juices, Kozy Kitchen, Snap Kitchen, Salata, Southpaw's Organic Grill and Origin, all which align themselves as healthy hotspots. Its restaurants also tend to generate more reviews, the Yelpers tell me, so "healthy" has more of a shot of popping up here.
  • The Tollway looks like the highway to health -- moreso than U.S. Highway 75. Is it? Not exactly. Yelp Dallas Community Manager Heli Medhin thinks there are just fewer Yelp reviews on 75 versus the Tollway. They don't believe there's a big difference between the healthy options offered on one road or the other.
  • If you drill into the map, there are a lot of "healthy" near Henderson Avenue and SMU. Can we prove it? Yes, we can. In SMU and University Park, you've got The Juice Bar, Nekter Juice Bar, Be Raw Food & Juice, The Gem, RollnGo, True Food Kitchen and Greenhouse Market. In Knox/Henderson and Lower Greenville, you've got Crisp Salad Co.; Muscle Maker Grill, HG Supply Co., Sundown at Granada, Company Cafe, Green Grocer and Sprouts. So yes, it's fair to say these seem to be "healthy" areas.
  • Affluent suburbs such as Plano and Southlake seemingly should have a wider swath of healthy places. What's up with that? As diners get farther from the city center, there are fewer Yelp reviews. This map doesn't represent cities away from Dallas as well as it represents Dallas proper. Don't get your feelings hurt if you have a favorite calorie-counting restaurant in the 'burbs that isn't showing up here.
  • Fort Worth is healthier than this map makes it look. Fort Worth and its nearby suburbs do have some calorie-conscious places, such as Righteous Foods, Spiral Diner, Good Karma Kitchen, Loving Hut (Arlington), Juice Junkies, Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe (Southlake), Potager Cafe (Arlington), FnG Eats (Keller), Cafe Modern, Bird Cafe, Trio New American Cafe (Colleyville), Al Wadi Cafe (Bedford). Yelp is still building its following in areas outside of Dallas proper, so this is another case where fewer reviews make it seem less "healthy" than it really is.
  • Southern Dallas doesn't show up at all. Is this an accurate reading? Probably. Southern Dallas is a "food desert," which The Dallas Morning News explains is a "low-income urban and rural areas without access to healthy and affordable food." Paul Quinn College turned its football field into a garden in response to the lack of fresh fruits and veggies available there, and the health of Southern Dallas residents has long been a discussion city leaders. 

What would make you feel as though your city was a healthy one? Join the discussion on Facebook.

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