People in rural areas are gaining weight much faster than city dwellers, finds a new study looking at 112 million adults around the world. Emerging economies, like Chile and Turkey, saw the biggest gains. The find contradicts the idea that urban lifestyles are fueling the rise of obesity

People in rural areas are gaining weight much faster than city dwellers, finds a new study looking at 112 million adults around the world. Emerging economies, like Chile and Turkey, saw the biggest gains. The find contradicts the idea that urban lifestyles are fueling the rise of obesity

  • Now, a large new report reveals the rise of global BMI comes from people living in rural areas rather than people living in urban areas.
  • The team’s analysis revealed that globally BMI has been going up faster in rural areas than in urban ones, except in sub-Saharan Africa, where the trend is reversed.
  • In contrast, people living in rural areas are often farther from sports facilities and walking is uncommon because most people drive.
  • Ezzati also noted it’s easier to eat healthier in cities as fresh foods are more readily available in urban centers, and perhaps at lower costs, than in rural areas where food deserts are more widespread. Focusing on just growth rates, instead of the actual number of obese people, can be confusing in some cases, but that data seems to back up the researchers conclusions as well.
  • In some places, the total number of obese people in urban areas still outweighs the total number in rural areas, though in most affluent countries, there are more obese people outside of cities.
  • In contrast to the rise in rural BMI in both more and less affluent countries, the researchers found BMI of urban populations in sub-Saharan Africa is rising faster than rural populations.
  • Wood is still the most common fuel in rural Africa, for example, whereas in urban areas people are increasingly using commercial fuel, meaning people have to walk less to obtain it.