Monday, May 13, 2019

Study shows rural residents are driving global rise in obesity

A newly published study found that rural residents are driving the global rise in obesity, contradicting previous research that linked obesity to sedentary urban dwellers, Doyle Rice reports for USA Today.

That's especially true in high-income and industrialized countries such as the United States, according to the study, which measured body-mass index averages in 200 countries from 1985 to 2017. "Researchers determined that BMI averages are rising for everyone," Rice reports. "However, they were rising more quickly for people who lived in rural areas."

The researchers wrote: "The lower urban BMI in high-income and industrialized countries reflects a growing rural economic and social disadvantage, including lower education and income; lower availability and higher price of healthy and fresh foods; less access to, and use of, public transport and walking than in cities; and limited availability of facilities for sports and recreational activity, which account for a significant share of overall physical activity in high-income and industrialized countries."

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