Exploring differences in adolescent BMI and obesity-related behaviors by urban, suburban, and rural status

Brittany M. Kirkpatrick, Maryam Yuhas, Jamie M. Zoellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data from the nationally representative 2014 Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study was examined to identify differences in adolescent Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity-related behaviors by rurality status (i.e., urban, suburban, rural) while accounting for relevant demographics (i.e., sex, race/ethnicity, household income). This secondary, cross-sectional analysis included 1,353 adolescents. Analyses included descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, Chi-squared tests, and multiple linear regression models (reported significance level p < 0.05). Rurality was not associated with BMI when controlling for demographics. However, relative to rural adolescents, suburban adolescents had significantly higher junk food, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), sugary food (all β=+0.2, p ≤ 0.001), and fruit/vegetable intake (β=+0.1, p ≤ 0.05). Compared to Non-Hispanic White adolescents, Non-Hispanic Black adolescents had significantly higher BMI (β=+4.4, p ≤ 0.05), total sedentary time (β=+4.1, p ≤ 0.001), junk food, SSB, and sugary food intake (all β=+0.2, p ≤ 0.05). Relative to their lower-income household counterparts, adolescents from higher-income households had significantly lower BMI (β = -9.7, p ≤ 0.001), junk food (β = -0.2, p ≤ 0.05), and SSB intake (β = -0.5, p ≤ 0.001). Contrary to literature, rurality was not a significant predictor of adolescent BMI. While suburban status was significantly associated with several diet-related risk factors, it was not in the direction anticipated. Being non-Hispanic Black and from a low-income household had the greatest influence on adolescent BMI. Findings highlight the importance of using a three-category classification for rurality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101960
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Physical Fitness
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suburban Health
  • Urban Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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