Study finds that low-income women living in small cities have higher chance of obesity
A recent Kansas State University study found that the availability of supermarkets — rather than the lack of them –increased the risk of obesity for low-income women living in small cities. This suggests that policies to increase healthful eating behaviors might need to be tailored based on geographic location.
K-State researchers studied the availability of food stores for low-income women in Kansas to see whether there was a link to obesity. The findings showed that limited availability of grocery stores did not contribute to an increased risk of obesity in metropolitan or rural areas, but it was associated with an increased risk of obesity in micropolitan areas in Kansas, defined as cities with fewer than 40,000 people.
“This study was one of the first to look at supermarket availability across the urban-rural continuum, and the findings suggest that policies to increase healthful food availability may need to differ depending on urban influence,” said David Dzewaltowski, K-State professor and department head of kinesiology.