J D Voss, P Masuoka, B J Webber, A I Scher, R L Atkinson
International Journal of Obesity , (29 January 2013) | doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.5
The macrogeographic distribution of obesity in the United States, including the association between elevation and body mass index (BMI), is largely unexplained. This study examines the relationship between obesity and elevation, ambient temperature and urbanization.
Methods and Findings:
Data from a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of 422 603 US adults containing BMI, behavioral (diet, physical activity, smoking) and demographic (age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, employment, income) variables from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were merged with elevation and temperature data from WorldClim and with urbanization data from the US Department of Agriculture. There was an approximately parabolic relationship between mean annual temperature and obesity, with maximum prevalence in counties with average temperatures near 18 °C. Urbanization and obesity prevalence exhibited an inverse relationship (30.9% in rural or nonmetro counties, 29.2% in metro counties with1 million). After controlling for urbanization, temperature category and behavioral and demographic factors, male and female Americans living
Obesity prevalence in the United States is inversely associated with elevation and urbanization, after adjusting for temperature, diet, physical activity, smoking and demographic factors.
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