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Prevalence of overweight and obesity in rural and urban settings of 10 European countries
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OBJECTIVES.: First to explore differences in prevalence of overweight and obesity between rural and urban areas of 10 European countries, then to determine whether body mass index varies with the countries' gross domestic product. METHODS.: We used baseline data (2004) from countries participating in the Study of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, which included 16,695 non-institutionalized individuals aged 50-79 years with body mass index >/=18.5 kg/m(2). Height and weight were self-reported and body mass index categorized as normal weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m(2)), overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m(2)) and obesity (>/=30 kg/m(2)). Weighted prevalences of overweight and obesity in rural and urban areas were estimated, and logistic regressions performed to investigate the association between rural residence and body mass index, adjusting for age, sex, household income and education. Spearman's correlation examined the relationship between body mass index and gross domestic product. RESULTS.: We found no differences in the prevalence of overweight and obesity between rural and urban areas. Separate analysis by gender, age, education or income level did not reveal additional rural-urban variations. Body mass index was slightly higher when gross domestic product was lower. CONCLUSIONS.: Programs aimed at preventing or managing overweight and obesity in the 50-79 years age range should be addressed to residents of both rural and urban areas, but tailored to their specific characteristics.
Obesity , Overweight , Rural Health , Urban Health
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