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Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1174-81. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Obesity among working age adults: the role of county-level persistent poverty in rural disparities.

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University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA.


Little research has investigated the relationship between county-level poverty and obesity rates. We examined the factors related to obesity among residents of Rural Persistent Poverty counties, finding that these counties had a larger proportion of obese residents (34.5%) than Other Rural (28.4%) or Urban counties (24.9%). In adjusted analysis, the statistically significant association between persistent poverty and obesity was attenuated. Both individual characteristics (race, age) and county-level food availability and access factors were found to be significantly related to obesity. Improved access to quality food may be beneficial to residents of impoverished areas.

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