In US, obesity, smoking more common in rural areas: study

June 19, 2018

People who live in rural areas of the United States are far more likely than city dwellers to smoke, be overweight, and face a host of related health concerns, researchers said Tuesday.

Many chronic diseases are linked to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and arthritis, and researchers say understanding local trends can help them design better intervention strategies.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association relied on survey data about nearly 7,000 children and almost 11,000 adults in the United States.

It found that among children and adolescents, "rates of severe obesity were higher in rural areas than large urban areas."

Severe obesity is defined as a of 40 or above.

"Rates of obesity showed similar patterns, but weren't statistically significant," added the report.

Among youths, obesity was more likely among those whose parents had less education, and more common among African-Americans and Hispanics than whites.

When it came to adults, was "higher in rural areas than large urban areas, and rates for obesity (defined as BMI at or above 30) showed similar patterns," said the report.

A separate report last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found was "significantly higher" among adults in rural counties (34.2 percent) compared to those in metropolitan counties (28.7 percent).

About 46 million people, or 14 percent of the US population, live outside metropolitan areas.

Smoking is down to its lowest point in America—with just 13.9 percent of the population identifying as cigarette smokers—but is still twice as common in rural areas than cities, said the CDC.

Just 11 percent of adults in a metro area of one million people or more smoke, compared to nearly 22 percent in .

People living outside city centers also "had the highest rates of being obese, having experienced serious psychological distress during the past 30 days, or having diagnosed diabetes," said the federal health agency.

Explore further: U.S. smoking rate hits all-time low

Related Stories

U.S. smoking rate hits all-time low

June 19, 2018
(HealthDay)—Fewer than 14 percent of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2017, the lowest level seen since data collection started in 1965, government health officials reported Tuesday.

Obesity's a larger problem in rural America

June 14, 2018
(HealthDay)—City folks are leaner than their country cousins, a new U.S. study finds.

CDC: prevalence of arthritis 31.8 percent in most rural areas of U.S.

May 31, 2017
(HealthDay)—The prevalence of arthritis is 31.8 percent in the most rural areas and 20.5 percent in the most urban areas of the United States, according to research published in the May 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for ...

CDC: higher risk of death from leading causes in rural America

January 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Americans who live in rural areas have a higher risk of death from five leading causes than people who live in urban locations, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease ...

Florida's obesity rate may be higher than originally thought, new study finds

June 15, 2018
Florida's obesity rate may be higher than originally thought. A widely used national health survey puts the overall obesity rate in the state at 27.8 percent, but a new study based on an analysis of a robust clinical data ...

N.C. children in rural counties, high poverty schools face obesity risk

November 10, 2016
North Carolina children who live in rural counties or attend high poverty schools are more likely to be obese, a newly published study finds.

Recommended for you

Race plays role in regaining weight after gastric bypass surgery

November 15, 2018
African Americans and Hispanic Americans who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) are at greater risk to regain weight as compared to Caucasians. To date, no study has addressed the effect of race on weight regain ...

Simple tips can lead to better food choices

November 13, 2018
A few easily learned tips on eating and food choice can increase amount of healthy food choices between 5 percent and 11 percent, a new Yale University study has found.

Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all

November 13, 2018
Analyzing data from more than 2,400 obese patients who underwent bariatric weight-loss surgery, researchers identified at least four different patient subgroups that diverge significantly in eating behaviors and rate of diabetes, ...

Exercise makes even the 'still overweight' healthier: study

November 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Heavyset folks who exercise regularly shouldn't get discouraged if they can't seem to shed more weight, no matter how hard they try.

Scientists shine new light on link between obesity and cancer

November 12, 2018
Scientists have made a major discovery that shines a new, explanatory light on the link between obesity and cancer. Their research confirms why the body's immune surveillance systems—led by cancer-fighting Natural Killer ...

Genetic factors tied to obesity may protect against diabetes

November 2, 2018
Some genetic variations linked with obesity actually protect against Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, new findings suggest.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.