Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Minority Group Members: A National Rural and Urban Study

Research center:
Project completed:
August 2003
Most major chronic diseases share common risk factors, including modifiable lifestyle behaviors. Because rural minority group members suffer from a disproportionately high rate of morbidity and mortality from chronic conditions, a comprehensive assessment of lifestyle behaviors may inform interventions to improve health. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) collects data annually from all 50 states on health-related behaviors. This study is using BRFSS data to explore the prevalence and trends of six unhealthy lifestyle behaviors: current smoking, excessive drinking, driving after drinking too much, eating fewer than five fruits and vegetables daily, engaging in 30 minutes of physical activity fewer than five times per week, and having an unhealthy weight. This study will provide needed information about the prevalence of unhealthy behaviors among minority group members in rural America and will help federal policymakers tailor health promotion programs to the risk groups and the geographic areas of greatest need.

Publications

  • A National Study of Obesity Prevalence and Trends by Type of Rural County
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 2005
    Analyzes data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 1994-1996 and 2000-2001 to estimate the recent trends in obesity among U.S. adults residing in rural locations. In 2000-2001 the prevalence of obesity was 23.0% for rural adults and 20.5% for urban, representing increases of 4.8% and 5.5%, respectively, since 1994-1996.
  • Obesity Prevalence In Rural Counties: A National Study
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2004
    Using a telephone survey of adults ages 18 and older residing in states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 1994-96 and 2000-01, researchers found that the prevalence of obesity was 23% for rural adults and 20.5% for urban adults.
  • Prevalence And Trends In Smoking: A National Rural Study
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 2006
    Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the prevalence of smoking between 1994-1996 and 2000-2001 did not change substantially for the United States as a whole. The prevalence of smoking for rural residents decreased by more than 2 percent in six states. However, it increased by 2 percent or more in ten states.
  • Problem Drinking: Rural and Urban Trends in America, 1995/1997 to 2003
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2006
    Assesses the prevalence of, and recent trends in, alcohol use among adults 18 years and older in rural areas of the United States. The paper finds that heavy drinking was highest and increasing in urban areas, but that binge drinking was greater in rural areas. It recommends tailoring interventions specifically to meet the needs of rural residents.