Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Longitudinal Analysis of State-Level Influences on United States' Obesity Rates

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Longitudinal Analysis of State-Level Influences on United States' Obesity Rates

Article excerpt

Obesity was recognized by the World Health Organization as a worldwide epidemic in 1998, and in no other nation is the trend toward increasing body weight more prevalent than the U.S., where from 1990 to 2002 the median percentage of obese individuals increased from 11.6% to 22.1%. Since obesity is thought to be the result of a complex interaction of genetics, behavior, and the environment, an ecological perspective that considers individual-level factors in combination with various environmental and institutional-level influences can provide a comprehensive explanation for why obesity rates continue to increase. This study was designed to determine the influence of a select set of environmental and institutional variables on state-level obesity rates in the U.S. in 2000 and the increase in obesity rates from 2000 to 2005 after controlling for levels of physical inactivity. The percentage of state residents that did not participate in physical activity during the last month represented an individual-level indicator, while the average number of days hotter than 90[degrees] Fahrenheit and state per capita expenditures for the promotion of chronic disease control represented the environmental and institutional indicators respectively. The latter two variables were selected based on recommendations from previous applications of the ecological model to obesity. …

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