Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rural living could be an obesity risk factor

The United States is currently going through an obesity epidemic, and public health experts and others are understandably very concerned. There isn't a single state that has an obesity rate of under 20 percent and the medical costs associated with obesity were estimated to be approximately $147 billion in 2008.

Many researchers have wondered whether there might be a rural-urban divided as regards obesity rates, and a team of scholars at the University of Kansas and the Unviersity of Florida has done some work on the subject that is garnering attention.

Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the team found that 39.6% of people in rural areas were obese, as compared with 33.4% of those in urban areas. The team of researchers also noted that several factors were associated with higher rates of obesity, including being married, consuming a high daily calorie intake or a higher percentage of calories from fat, or being of African-American descent.

One of the investigators, Professor Michael G. Perri, noted that

"Rural areas have fewer resources to assist residents with lifestyle changes related to weight management."

It remains to be seen what might be done to address this disparity, but one solution might be to use the expertise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service, which has offices in just about every county in the United States.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times

>From The Scout Report,
Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment