The Association Between the Obesogenic Environment and 6-Month and 24-Month Weight Change in a Rural Weight Loss Intervention Trial in the United States

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Preventive Medicine


The unique obesogenic environment may influence the ability to effectively maintain weight loss in rural areas. The aim of this study was to examine the contextual relationship of neighborhood disadvantage, distance to supermarkets and supercenters, and fast food, dollar store, and exercise facility environments on weight loss following a weight-loss intervention in the United States. This analysis (n = 1177) linked weight loss outcomes from a rural, primary care-based randomized controlled trial to contextual data collected from residential addresses. Outcomes include 6-month and 24-month percent weight loss. These outcomes were compared across contextual variables, including tract level disadvantage, food accessibility, and food/exercise availability. Covariates were included in ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariable regression models for 6-month and 24-month weight loss measures, across three weight loss interventions. Contextual variables were not significantly related to percent weight loss overall across treatment arms. Participants living in a 5-mile buffer to dollar stores experienced approximately a 2% (p < 0.05) lower weight loss, but only in the least effective counseling arm (individual clinic visits), while controlling for both individual and contextual factors. Our results suggest that specific contextual variables in rural populations may play an important role in moderating weight loss outcomes especially under the conditions of less effective interventions.



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Dollar stores, Obesity, Obesogenic environment, Rural, Weight loss