The Relation Between Obesity and Residential Segregation in the Urban and Rural Regions of U.S.

Authors: Heewon Chea*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Rural Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: Obesity, Segregation, Urban, Rural, Shannon-Entropy Index, USA
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


More than one-third of adults suffer from obesity (BMI ≥30) which is becoming one of the most pervasive health issues in the United States. Obesity provokes many kinds of disease, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver and kidney disorders, cancers and even mental diseases, and diminishing the quality of life. Residential segregation is a pervasive social phenomenon in the US. The residential segregation cause disadvantages like restricts economic activity opportunities and limitation of access to resources and services in need. Those adverse effects of residential sorting are critical to the poor health outcome of vulnerable communities.
Even though many researchers have scrutinized the relationship between residential segregation and obesity, they have limits in that their index is not applied precisely or the local characteristics of the study areas are not considered synthetically. And, the most of previous research focused on the national or state level of the area as the spatial analysis unit. Those spatial units, unfortunately, are too large to depict the significant spatial pattern of obesity and residential segregation in the US. Thus, the Shannon-Entropy index is applied in the counties level of spatial unit. The uneven spatial distribution of obesity and segregation is found between the contiguous US and sub-regions using Local Indicators of Spatial Association. We measured the moderate relationship between the segregation among different race/ethnic groups by Shannon-Entropy Index and severity of obesity by county-level unit using data from the US Census Bureau and the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

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