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Are Urban Americans Thinner Than Rural Americans? (Study Says So)

AdriHead 2012/09/19 23:00:00
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Sure, America collectively has an obesity problem. But according to a recent study, the Americans who are bearing the brunt of the bulk come from the rural parts of the country. In other words, individuals who live in the urban landscape are skinnier than those who live in the 'burbs. Maybe it's all the walking? Or perhaps urbanites just prefer salads over burgers? Whatever the case, we'll let you make the final call about this study.

JEZEBEL.COM reports:
A new study published in the Journal of Rural Health suggests that rural Americans are almost 20% more likely to fit the clinical definition of obesity (BMI over 30) than their city-dwelling counterparts. The study relied on clinical data—i.e. people weighed and measured at doctors' offices—rather than self-reported data.

The change, researchers speculate, has something to do with rural food deserts, lack of access to fitness facilities, and that sweet spot where traditional gigantic farm breakfasts meet increased agricultural mechanization. In other words, people have trouble getting a hold of healthy foods, personal trainers aren't wandering around the corn fields (nor is there money to pay them if they were), and farmers just aren't hoeing off their ham steaks like they used to.

trainers wandering corn fields money pay farmers hoeing ham steaks

Read More: http://jezebel.com/5944099/urban-americans-are-thi...

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  • Barbara 2012/09/20 17:39:20
    Yes
    Barbara
    +3
    Neither answer would be true at all times, but people who live in urban centers tend to walk way more than suburban and rural areas because they don't have to drive a car to go everywhere. They walk to the grocery, to restaurants, coffee shops, whereas things in the burbs are so spread out, at least 95% of the time, anywhere you go is by car.
  • me Barbara 2012/09/20 18:52:25
    me
    +2
    I grew up in the country and still living in the outskirts of a small city that's almost country. Its not on a bus line, pretty long hike to shopping of any kind or shops and yu couldn't buy much if you have to lug it home in your arms or even one of those little pull carts...no sidewalks in parts, of that hike, either. I think this has a lot of merit as an observation. I imagine a lot of really big city dwellers, even fairly well to do, don't even OWN a car, because parking is awful, and hey, who needs it? Bus or subway for long treks to work, bikes even an advantage in a traffic jam I expect. Shops close to home or work mean they can almost do their grocery shopping day by day in small quantities. Where I grew up, grocery/school/clothes shopping was an all day project REQUIRING a vehicle to stock up for a week or two.. Work also required a vehicle, no public transportation and it would have taken my Dad four hours to walk one way the 12 miles to work. So, we had a car., and if you've got one, you tend to use it, even for shorter trips. I agree that neither answer would be true at all times, too, but so far as exercise goes, unless you grow up on a farm and that is your "workout", it actually takes more of a conscious "effort" to get your exercise in the country.
  • Barbara me 2012/09/20 19:18:07
    Barbara
    +1
    I agree. I thought about farmers and the fact that they and their families may be the only ones in the country who get exercise, but the technology now used by most farmers takes the exercise out of the farming. I know in NYC, it can cost $30,000 a year to have guaranteed parking if you own a car. Ridiculous! I would rather live, in many ways, in a city where I could walk and get daily produce from fresh produce markets. I think in many ways, that would be healthier eating than going to a grocery store.
  • El Prez 2012/09/20 17:21:30
    No
    El Prez
    Not that I had noticed. The large are with us everywhere, including in my house.
  • jimena 2012/09/20 17:15:58
    Yes
    jimena
    +2
    Seriously, why is this a SodaHead question? It's a matter of fact, not opinion.
  • ChiTownGirl 2012/09/20 17:07:38
    Yes
    ChiTownGirl
    To me the main reason is that urban Americans just do more walking and taking more stairs, which I do every day....
  • generationZguy 2012/09/20 16:50:07
  • cj 2012/09/20 16:37:23
    Yes
    cj
    +1
    that makes total sense.... In the country or on the farm or whatever, we don't have much opportunity to walk to our destinations, we must drive due to distance.... if we walk it is planned and for fitness only.... we eat well, and the fresh air helps to bring on sleep.... many of us have large yards which require additional time spent working outdoors physically in the fresh air, which is conducive to sleep and early nights... and many of us heat with wood which is also a factor in bringing sleep earlier than expected.... so to summarize we live well, eat well, work hard physically, get more sleep, and walk less... a recipe for a larger waistline. (at least for some of us).... :-) however the cure is likely attending more country dances, for our women to ride the cowboy of the farm and not the horse, and to more closely monitor what and when we eat.....
  • Rave 2012/09/20 16:37:19
    Yes
    Rave
    Walking, fast-eventful city life, public transport, stairs, apartments, tall buildings, activities. It makes sense. In country towns people tend to drive more, when everything is far away and there isn't much traffic then driving seems more appropriate. Also there's less to do so it's likely you'll get less out even if you don't realize it.

    I live in the center of town and everything is walking distance (I count walking distance as anything which is an hour and a half walk away) so I end up walking a lot, my university is a 40 minute walk away, so going there and back everyday is already an hour and 20mins, and sometimes I come home for lunch if I have a longer break and then end up spending 2 hours and 40 minutes just on walking.

    And of course I have other places to walk to during the day, if I meet friends/go to the store/have other stuff that needs to get done. So I really do think it's the walking the makes the difference. I also have to walk up 10 flights of stairs since I live on the top floor of my apartment.
  • Juan O'Mara 2012/09/20 16:24:44
    Yes
    Juan O'Mara
    well yeah gotta be able to run from the poice after they hold up the licker store
  • Faith 2012/09/20 16:17:49
    No
    Faith
    Lol, of course 68% say yes. Probably because most people on here live in urban areas themselves.
  • jimena Faith 2012/09/20 17:08:47
    jimena
    +1
    No...it's because 68% of us are not dumb enough to disagree with researched, proven fact...
  • Nordic 2012/09/20 16:10:48 (edited)
    Yes
    Nordic
    +1
    Coming from Mississippi, the fattest state, i can tell you that a large factor here its that most everyone who can work, does. Education is low, and crime, violence, poverty, are high. Because of this, people have very little time to dedicate to fitness activities. Even when they do, most people are finding ways to relax in free time. Stress and the resulting lethargy make for a large factor in sedentary lifestyle, at least where I am from. When you work two jobs, the last thing you do when you get home is do anything but watch tv and have a drink. Combine that with a culture that is centric with sharing food, teaching loved ones family recipes, and eating lots of comfort foods, and BAM, you have fatness.
  • Jlmpatro 2012/09/20 16:05:36 (edited)
    No
    Jlmpatro
    Urban life is very different from rural and fineness exists in the city, in rural areas also. On average, the rural standard of livine is higer, despite not having at their disposal the cravings that city dwellers have.
  • Boo 2012/09/20 15:43:58
    No
    Boo
    The relatives I had who lived in rural areas were not overweight anymore than the inactive couch potatoes I knew living in cities. I just don't think you can generalize in that way, and I distrust the study's results. People who farm work a lot harder and get more physical exercise than those who have a desk job and go to the gym. They need the calories from a traditional country breakfast in order to work in the fields from early morning (usually sun up) until noon. My question is who paid for this study, and what motivated it?
  • Sperry23 2012/09/20 15:38:33
    Yes
    Sperry23
    +2
    Thinner, maybe. Healthier, not really.
  • me Sperry23 2012/09/20 18:56:13
    me
    that's a good observation, too. LOL.
  • Grey 2012/09/20 15:34:54
    No
    Grey
    Studies like this mean nothing. Too many variables. Plus to group country people with suburban people when they are two completely different demographics is deceiving.This is why I'm considering duming sodahead. Waste of my time with silly unimportant crapola.
  • mike j 2012/09/20 15:24:10
    No
    mike j
    Well there might be a reason for this , I was just observing the photo attached to the posters question. Look at all of those Urban folks walking, many in the large cities do not own cars. So , they walk , and walk and walk and wages have not risen in several years yet the price for housing and food have gone up. So, you walk and eat a little less. In the rural areas the only way you are going to get anywhere is to drive there, a car is your lifeline to town and the grocery , you drive, you park in front to the store you are going to , you get back in your car and drive home. So I would observe that the Urban dweller might actually get more exercise and eat less that their Rural neighbors.
  • jimena mike j 2012/09/20 17:11:08
    jimena
    Food prices are going up in rural areas too.
  • mike j jimena 2012/09/20 17:45:26
    mike j
    yes they are , in fact the transportation charges to get many of our staples out to where we live are an ever increasing factor to not only our food cost in rural America but any item that we need.
  • Michael 2012/09/20 15:22:48
    Yes
    Michael
    Of course. Urban/city areas have more access to high quality food and amenities for exercise. You go to a less developed area and its damn near nothing but McDonald's on every corner. Also, the city has this thing called competition and a faster pace of living, which is conducive to influencing a thinner frame.
  • Fashionable60s 2012/09/20 15:12:42
    Yes
    Fashionable60s
    We have obesity problems in America, where we have 60% of our citizens are either overweight or morbidly obese. Yes, urban Americans probably walk more than the suburban ones so they put exercise into their daily lives. If they are working in glamorous and competitive professions that tend to concentrate in big cities, like fashion magazines, advertising, garment industry, or being a model, to give you some examples, they tend to be more conscientious about their physical appearance so they'll stay slim.
  • kevinlim 2012/09/20 15:08:47
    Yes
    kevinlim
    Simple. The city people are normal. Those that live in the suburbs are the ones you see on youtube getting hurt or arrested
  • Elaine Magliacane 2012/09/20 14:51:40
    No
    Elaine Magliacane
  • fortycal_sig 2012/09/20 14:29:44
    No
    fortycal_sig
    +1
    I can imagine all kinds of problems with the sampling on this.
  • ALen 2012/09/20 14:19:02
    Yes
    ALen
    Yes, I lived in London for over a month and lost 10 lbs just from walking and eating less. Normally I live in a somewhat rural town and now that I am back I have already gained 4 lbs back
  • J.MaisOui 2012/09/20 14:18:31
    Yes
    J.MaisOui
    +1
    They have to walk,so yes. However,if u eat like a cow...youll look like a cow. No meat,no grease is the way to go,and light on the starch. Healthy diet of mainly vegetables is the way to go.
  • SOUL4REAL 2012/09/20 13:56:05
    No
    SOUL4REAL
    It's the people and not "Urban" or "Rural" area! They need to push back from the "Table"! All food that is consume should be done in "Moderation"!!
  • BlackNeko 2012/09/20 13:48:12
    Yes
    BlackNeko
    +1
    My dad is from texas and the food is AMAZING southern comfort food is sooooo good
    Sweet southern comfort carry on...
    southern comfort food
  • anne.k.... BlackNeko 2012/09/20 15:16:43
    anne.k.murphy
    +1
    Apart from the greens (which are probably drenched in butter anyway) that looks like heart attack on a plate to me. I live in the South, and I do not like the food here.
  • BlackNeko anne.k.... 2012/09/21 17:18:04
    BlackNeko
    really?, I consider you lucky! I live up north and when anyone from the south cooks I'm at their front door with a bib and my big girl pants on!
  • sαиѕ sσℓєιℓ~ 2012/09/20 13:43:27
    Yes
    sαиѕ sσℓєιℓ~
    +1
    apparently
  • GoreGirl 2012/09/20 13:05:03
    No
    GoreGirl
    +1
    I went from living in a rural area to living in a city and I was appalled. People are SO fat here...i'm not skinny by any stretch, but DAMN, I know I live in one of the fattest American cities for sure. >.<
  • Daniel O'Hern 2012/09/20 13:02:14
    Yes
    Daniel O'Hern
    +1
    When u have to walk to where ever u are going u burn more calories
  • Dahlia 2012/09/20 12:31:01 (edited)
    Yes
    Dahlia
    +1
    Of course. Urban Americans tend to walk everywhere because they don't want to deal with the traffic. I heard there was a study that said your average new yorker walks about 10 miles a day.
  • La 2012/09/20 12:00:19
    Yes
    La
    Makes sense
  • Stan Zebell 2012/09/20 09:59:53
    No
    Stan Zebell
    +2
    Generalities tauted as news or even science continue to bother me. It is as if Man has completely missed the point of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in favor of being a cog in someone else's machine.
  • shadow76 2012/09/20 08:12:31
    No
    shadow76
    +1
    I think the unnatural skinny ones are in the east and west coast cities!
  • strawberry 2012/09/20 08:10:19
    Yes
    strawberry
    +1
    City people do a lot of fast walking, and usually don't take as much time for lunch. They are more on the go, not depending so much on cars while working or living in the city. They run up and down subway stairs. Most of the time they are in constant walking motion. When they do go out for lunch they usually go to better quality restaurants.

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