Chicago is least 'sun aware' city in US

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sun protection Ultraviolet

New York and Washington D.C. have emerged as the most 'sun aware'
US cities in a recent survey carried out by the American Academy of
Dermatology with Chicago bringing up the rear - indicating the need
for more education on sun care protection.

The survey studied 32 cities and ranked them on the percentage of A's and B's scored on questions regarding their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards sun protection and tanning. Dermatologist Diane R.Baker, president of the Academy, concluded the outcome of the survey, with the statement, "The bottom line is that everyone needs to be concerned about protecting themselves from skin cancer, no matter where you live."​ Released on Monday, the survey showed that citizens in Washington D.C. were most aware of sun damage, with 47 per cent of its population scoring A's or B's, with New York, Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles all making the top five. ​Chicago came last in the survey, with only 21 per cent of residents posting A's and B's when questioned on their sun protection knowledge - proving it to be a prime area for a more concerted effort from sun care manufacturers to up their marketing attempts to capitalize on this uneducated area. Indeed, 40 per cent of Chicagoans showed a 'laissez-faire' attitude to the issue of sun protection. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement ' prefer to enjoy sunshine and not worry about what I should do to protect myself from it,' 41 per cent agreed. Another key issue as to why the city was less fazed by the damage of sun to the skin was because they suggested due to their climate having shorter spells of sun exposure, they were less at risk than other cities. However, Baker suggested that climate should not alter people's awareness of sun defense and people should maintain a healthy amount of protection no matter where they live. "The notion that only people living in year-round sunny climates are prone to developing skin cancer is completely untrue,"​ said Baker. Overall the country scored below average on the benefits of covering up in the sun. Baker stated, "Based on our initial review of what people are currently doing, know and believe about sun protection, 35 percent of the national public scored above average, with grades of A or B". "From here, our goal is to move the needle so that we have 45 percent or even 50 percent starting to score in the A or B range."

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