Monday, November 05, 2012

Rural children more likely to be obese; Extension Service in Oregon looking for community links

Children living in rural areas are 20 to 50 percent more likely than their urban counterparts to be obese. Researchers in at least one state are trying to find out why, and are looking for ways to change the statistic. The Oregon State University Extension Service is launching a three-year study with the help of children in two rural school districts, reports Shelby King of the Herald and News in Klamath Falls. The study could have implications for rural communities across the U.S.

Researchers will be trying to determine in what ways local communities influence the children who live there. Klamath County OSU Extension Service Professor Patty Case told King that researchers chose to focus on rural communities that are considered to be "food deserts," or places where fresh produce and other healthy foods aren't readily available, or cost too much for families to afford. She said this is the case for most rural communities. "At the end of this project we will hopefully have a better understanding of what works in these communities to help make kids healthier," Case said. (Read more)

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