Variations in Obesity Rates between US Counties: Impacts of Activity Access, Food Environments, and Settlement Patterns.
Int J Environ Res Public Health
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There is much ongoing research about the effect of the urban environment as compared with individual behaviour on growing obesity levels, including food environment, settlement patterns (e.g., sprawl, walkability, commuting patterns), and activity access. This paper considers obesity variations between US counties, and delineates the main dimensions of geographic variation in obesity between counties: by urban-rural status, by region, by area poverty status, and by majority ethnic group. Available measures of activity access, food environment, and settlement patterns are then assessed in terms of how far they can account for geographic variation. A county level regression analysis uses a Bayesian methodology that controls for spatial correlation in unmeasured area risk factors. It is found that environmental measures do play a significant role in explaining geographic contrasts in obesity.
- Geography