A National Study of Obesity Prevalence and Trends by Type of Rural County

Journal of Rural Health

To estimate the prevalence of and recent trends in obesity among U.S. adults residing in rural locations, the authors analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 1994-1996 and 2000-2001 and found that in 2000-2001 the prevalence of obesity was 23.0% for rural adults and 20.5% for their urban counterparts, representing increases of 4.8% and 5.5%, respectively, since 1994-1996. The highest obesity prevalence occurred in rural counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; obesity prevalence increased for rural residents in all states but Florida over the study period. African Americans had the highest obesity prevalence of any group, up to 31.4% in rural counties adjacent to urban counties.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
J. Elizabeth Jackson, Mark Doescher, Anthony Jerant, Gary Hart