Identifying Obesogenic Communities in the U.S.: An Urban-Rural Comparison

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2017
Project completed:
August 2019

The goals of this study are to i) model and map the obesogenic environment at a local (county and Census tract) level using geographic information systems (GIS), ii) compare obesogenic environment scores across levels of rurality, and iii) explore associations between obesogenic environment scores and childhood obesity rates overall and by urban/rural status. We will review relevant literature on obesogenic environments and related measures, use the collected information to create an obesogenic environment index, and analyze whether that index is related to childhood obesity at the tract and county levels in the U.S. These activities will result in multiple publications and other research products that can be used in future efforts to address causes of childhood obesity related to environments and policies in rural settings.


  • Development of a Childhood Obesogenic Environment Index
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2019
    The purposes of this study were to describe the development of a childhood obesogenic environment index and examine differences in obesogenic environment index values by rurality and region across the U.S.