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Severe Obesity Rates Have Increased In Rural America, CDC Reports

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Americans who live in rural areas are hit harder by the ongoing obesity epidemic. The report stated that 40 percent of men and nearly half of the women who reside in these areas are considered to be obese.

Obesity In The Country

The CDC states that men, women, and children who live in the country areas are more likely to become severely obese than their counterparts who live in the metropolitan areas. The report continues that the obesity rates in adults grew faster in rural areas within the past 10 and a half years.

Senior researcher Cynthia Ogden claimed that for people who live in rural areas, the obesity trend in men has tripled, and the rate has doubled in women. Health experts determine what makes a person obese or overweight by their body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement system that is based on a person's weight and height. A person is considered to be severely obese if they have a BMI of 40 or more.

The study notes that severe obesity in men who reside in the country increased from less than 3 percent between 2001 and 2004 to almost 10 percent in the more recent years. The study also shows that severe obesity did increase among men who live in urban areas but only from 2.5 percent to 4 percent. The study found that for women who lived in rural/country areas, severe obesity increased from 6 percent to 14 percent. This was compared to women who live in city areas where severe obesity went from 6 percent to 8 percent.

Obesity Rates Continue To Raise Concerns

The researchers found their information from the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey monitors the status of adults' health and nutrition in America. They discovered that 39 percent of men in rural areas have a BMI between 30 and 40, as compared to 32 percent of men who reside in urban areas.

The researchers found that 47 percent of women who reside in country areas have a BMI between 30 and 40, and only 38 percent of women who lived in city areas have the same problem. In children, the report found 5 percent had a higher BMI if they lived in rural areas.

The scientists from the study did note that when it came to severe obesity, there were striking differences, as the number of men, women, and children who are considered to be severely obese os double the amount for those who reside in rural areas than those who live in metropolitan areas.

The researchers found that other factors may influence the obesity and severe obesity rates in rural areas.

"When looking at the global epidemic of obesity, we ironically often blame urbanization as a factor due to urban centers having more fast food locations, a pace of life where there is less emphasis on family meals, and work environments that are not physically taxing," Dr. Rekha Kumar from the Weill Cornell Medicine's Comprehensive Weight Control Center and New York-Presbyterian stated.

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