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CDC report: Non-metropolitan residents have higher obesity prevalence

The prevalence of obesity was significantly higher among residents of non-metropolitan counties than among metropolitan county residents.


Devdiscourse News Desk 14 Jun 2018, 07:01 PM United States
  • Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties can fight obesity by adopting various political and environmental strategies. (Image Credit: Twitter)

About 46 million people (14 percent) in the United States live in non-metropolitan counties. Compared to metropolitan residents, non-metropolitan residents have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and arthritis., as per CDC report titled Obesity Prevalence Among Adults Living in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties — United States, 2016.

The National Health and Nutrition Survey 2005-2008 (NHANES) found a significantly higher prevalence of obesity among adults in the non-metropolitan (39.6 percent) and metropolitan (33.4 percent) counties.

However, this difference has not been examined by state. As a result, the CDC reviewed data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and found that the prevalence of obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 30 kg / m2) was 34.2 percent of the American adults who live in non-metropolitan counties and 28.7 percent among those who live in metropolitan counties (p <0.001).

The prevalence of obesity was significantly higher among residents of non-metropolitan counties than among metropolitan county residents in all areas of the US census. 

With the highest absolute difference observed in the south (5.6 percentage points) and the northeast (5.4 points). In 24 of the 47 states, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher among people in non-metropolitan counties than among metropolitan counties, in Wyoming alone, the prevalence of obesity was higher among metropolitan county residents than among non-metropolitan residents of the county.

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties can fight obesity by adopting various political and environmental strategies to increase access to healthier food and physical activities. 

In regions and divisions, this disparity in the prevalence of obesity was highest in the southern and northeastern regions and in the mid-Atlantic division. With the exception of Hispanics and those who did not finish high school, the highest prevalence of obesity among non-metropolitan residents was observed in all sociodemographic groups. 


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