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Obesity ; 29(SUPPL 2):189-190, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1616053


Background: Individuals living in rural areas have higher obesity and obesity related co-morbidities than their urban counterparts. Understanding rural-urban differences associated with weight management may inform the development of effective weight management interventions for adults living in rural areas. Methods: The International Weight Control Registry (IWCR) is an online registry designed to assess factors contributing to successes and challenges with weight loss and weight loss maintenance across the world. We examined demographics, weight history and weight management strategies in a sample of urban and rural residents in the Midwestern U.S. (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI). Participants were classified as rural or urban by the Rural-Urban Commuting Area Code. Analyses included Chi-square tests for proportions and independent t-test and Wilcoxon rank sum test for continuous variables. Results: The sample was 45% rural (n = 78 of a total N = 174) with a mean age of 50.3 years. Rural residents were more likely to be white, non-college graduates, and have lower family income compared with urban areas (p < 0.05). Rural and urban residents reported similar weight histories and strategies for weight management. Work-related physical activity was higher and weekday sitting time was lower in rural compared to urban residents (p < 0.01). These data could potentially be impacted by the relative number of residents working from home during COVID-19 (Urban: 59% vs. Rural: 37%, p < 0.05). Rural residents were more likely to report a lack of neighborhood walkability (p < 0.01) and healthy food availability (p < 0.05) compared with urban residents. Conclusions: These data suggest rural-urban differences in demographic characteristics, opportunity for leisure time physical activity, and the availability of heathy foods should be considered in the development of weight management interventions. The consistency of the observed findings will be evaluated at the regional, national and international levels as the size of the available sample in the IWCR increases.