Obesity Prevalence in Rural Counties: A National Study


Using a random-digit telephone survey of adults aged 18 and older residing in states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 1994-96 and 2000-2001, researchers found that the prevalence of obesity was 23 percent for rural adults and 20.5 percent for urban adults. This finding represents increases of 4.8 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. The highest obesity prevalence occurred in rural counties of Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Only Rhode Island and Colorado had rural counties that met the Healthy People 2010 goal of a maximum of 15 percent obese for adults.

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