What gave Madison such a high happy-healthy quotient was its low crime rates and affordable fresh produce compared to the other cities
Seems like the activism being key was more the opinion of Patti Seger then Prevention magazine. It is an interesting theory she puts out though:
"The fact that people here are so vigilant about what's happening in state and local politics also makes them more vigilant about crime."
I'd broaden it to: When people give a shit about what's going on around them, they take steps to protect and improve their way of life in every aspect"
Just saw Milwaukee is in the top 25 (for "Most access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables") I'm calling bullshit on this whole list.