The occurrence of obesity in rural areas of the U.S. is significantly higher than in urban areas, a new study from University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions has found. Forty percent of rural residents are obese, compared with 33 percent of urban residents.
The study is the first to use body mass index classifications based on researcher-measured height and weight to compare rates of obesity in rural and urban adults. Previous studies relied on participants’ self-reports of height and weight, which led to too-low estimates of obesity, the researchers say.
“I was surprised by the magnitude of the rural-urban difference — it was larger than expected and much larger than previously estimated,” said senior author and Florida Dean Michael Perri.
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[Photo: Dean Michael Perri]