File this one under I Gotta Get Me One of Those Government Grants: A new study by a Washington University professor, funded by the NIH
and the CDC
and published in the December issue of the journal Preventive Medicine
, found, according to a Wash. U. press release
, "people who eat out often at buffets and cafeterias and who perceive their community to be unpleasant for physical activity are more likely to be obese."
What other conclusions did the study, which conducted phone interviews with 1,258 residents of rural towns in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee, reach? "Those with a high school education or less reported limited access to fruits and vegetables and were more likely to shop at convenience stores."
All snarkiness aside, the study does make the point that one of the main
impediments to improving health in rural areas -- and I'd venture to
guess in suburban and urban areas, too -- is the lack of "attractive"
outlets for physical activity.
rates are higher in rural areas, this is one of the first studies to
look at food choices and exercise in this population," says Alicia
Casey, first author of the paper and now a doctoral student in health
communications at Penn State University. "Determining how much these
factors increase the risk of obesity in rural areas can help us
determine methods to help this group."
[Ross Brownson, Ph.D.,
senior author of the study and a professor at the George Warren Brown
School of Social Work at Washington University] points out that a lot
of travel planning focuses on how to increase the numbers of
automobiles on our roadways, not on how to make travel friendly by foot
What's especially sad is that our food system has become so utterly debased that people who live in rural communities
are so far removed from fresh produce.