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Weight and Obesity According to Counties
Weight Status and Health Characteristics Differ According to Place of Residence
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Weight & Obesity According to Counties and Sprawl

Weight Loss Study Background
Weight loss experts agree that most Americans are too sedentary and weigh too much. Obesity has reached epidemic levels, and diseases associated with inactivity are also on the rise. But weight loss researchers are starting to pay attention to the other half of the weight-gain equation: Americans low levels of exercise.

Weight Loss Study Method
This weight loss report presents the first national study to show a clear association between the type of place people live and their activity levels, weight, and health.
It compared the county sprawl index to the health characteristics of more than 200,000 individuals living in the 448 counties studied, using a large national health survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Weight Loss Study Results
The results show that people in more sprawling counties are likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of weight-to-height that is used to determine if people are overweight or obese. A 50-point increase in the degree of sprawl on the county sprawl index was associated with a weight gain of just over one pound for the average person. Looking at the extremes, the people living in the most sprawling areas are likely to weigh six pounds more than people in the most compact county. Obesity, defined as a BMI of 30 or higher, followed a similar pattern. The odds that a county resident will be obese rises ten percent with every 50-point increase in the degree of sprawl on the county sprawl index.

Source: Urban Sprawl - Report

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