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 were to:

  1. Model and map the obesogenic environment at a local (county and Census tract) level using geographic information systems (GIS)
  2. Compare obesogenic environment scores across levels of rurality
  3. Explore associations between obesogenic environment scores and childhood obesity rates overall and by urban/rural status.
We reviewed relevant literature on obesogenic environments and related measures, used the collected information to create an obesogenic environment index, and analyzed whether that index is related to childhood obesity at the tract and county levels in the U.S. These activities resulted 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.