Diet and Physical Activity as Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity: An Urban and Rural Comparison

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2008
Project completed:
October 2010
Statement of the problem: Rural children, particularly minority children, are more likely to be overweight and obese despite being more likely to meet physical activity recommendations. Diet and a thorough investigation of physical activity may explain this apparent paradox. Project goals: We hope to identify dietary and physical activity differences between rural and urban children that may contribute to an "obesogenic" environment in rural areas.

Methods: We will use detailed dietary recall and physical activity information obtained by the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to explore obesity risk factors among rural and urban children aged 3 -14. To have a large enough sample for analysis across levels of rurality, we will combine surveys from 1999 - 2004.

Anticipated publications or products. A Research Product Portfolio, consisting of a Technical Report, Executive Summary, Key Facts Sheet, and postcard, will be provided to the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). Scientific presentations and papers will target venues such as the National Rural Health Association, the Obesity Society and the journal Pediatrics.