Regional Variation in Obesity: A Life Course Approach
Cassandra Koehn, Miami University
Ryan Walker, Miami University
Scott Brown, Miami University
Scott M. Lynch, Duke University
Previous research indicates that the South has higher rates of obesity than other regions, often attributing these disparities to factors such as higher levels of poverty and poorer diets. However, little research has examined the effect of early life region on later life obesity. The differences in obesity due to being socialized in an urban or a rural area are also rarely examined. We use HRS data from 1996- 2010 to model regional effects on obesity in later life using three different measures: (1) current region, (2) early life region, and (3) early life urban/rural residence. We find that current region of residence does not predict obesity in late life. However, individuals socialized in the South and individuals from rural areas are more likely to be obese than individuals raised in other parts of the country.