Overweight and obesity prevalence is increasing throughout the United States, and these two health conditions seem to disproportionately affect certain segments of the adult population. To date little research has examined adult differences in normal weight, overweight, and obesity by metropolitan or nonmetropolitan residential status while controlling for important demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral, and health status characteristics. This research helps to fill this gap. We used data from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to empirically assess predictors of overweight and obesity risk for all adults and then by residential location. Multinomial logistic regression techniques were used to estimate relative risk ratios for an adult being overweight or obese compared with normal weight for all adults and stratified by residential location. Among all adults, a nonmetro weight disadvantage was noted, with nonmetro adults having increased odds of being overweight or obese compared with normal weight. Interestingly, the residence stratified model indicates that race/ethnicity was not as important of a predictor of overweight or obesity for nonmetro residents as it was for metro residents, and far fewer behavioral and health status characteristics determined overweight status for nonmetro adults compared with metro adults; similar associations were noted between these characteristics for obesity status in both metro and nonmetro areas. This research highlights the need for health policies and programs to consider residential location when implementing strategies for weight management and loss for adults in the United States.
Sparks, P., and Susanne Schmidt. 2012. "A Demographic Analysis of Metro/Nonmetro Differences in Adult Normal Weight, Overweight, and Obesity." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 27(3): Article 3. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol27/iss3/3