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article imageWhere you live may affect your weight, a national study shows

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By Arthelo Palma     Sep 15, 2012 in Health
The odds of rural Americans to be obese could be almost 20 per cent more compared to their counterparts in the cities, WLS reports based on a national study of more than 8,800 Americans published in the Journal of Rural Health.
In this study, the researchers construe ‘diet and physical isolation’ are elemental factors contributing to the rise of obesity in rural areas.
From the WLS report, Christie Befort, study lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan puts it:
“The diet hasn’t necessarily changed at the same time the manual labor requirements have gone down. It's tough to get to a gym if you live outside of a town without one. Physical activity is now needed to compensate for diet and technology. That requires cultural change because rural areas typically don't have a culture of physical activity as leisure time."
In other words, Befort wants to emphasize it matters where a person lives, as this has potential link to gaining entry to obesity.
The Body mass index (BMI) measures the index for weight-for-height to classify overweight and obesity among adults. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a BMI more than or equal to 25 is overweight, but when it is greater than or equal to 30 indicates obesity.
There are different perspectives to take into consideration when looking at the major reasons for acquiring obesity. Studies concerning this have significantly increased as many health practitioners and experts believe obesity plays a crucial role in acquiring poor health conditions associated with diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. WHO reports overweight and obesity are fifth leading cause of death resulting to around 2.8 adults to die each year attributing to their association with diabetes, ischaemic heart disease and certain cancer.
There are some research investigations pointing to the biological aspect of acquiring obesity such as genetics, but other more recent studies give directions to factors concerning lifestyle.
The WHO explains obesity and overweight could be due to energy imbalance, too much consumption of calories but less usage of them in the body. WHO could actually confirm Befort’s belief as it elaborates obesity could result from the following conditions:
An increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
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