Obesity and altitude

Obesity and Altitude

Obesity is a complex and multifactorial chronic disease that remains a military and public health priority in the United States. Recently, we’ve identified a strong association between obesity prevalence and altitude within the US. Our findings were surprising because they indicated the magnitude of this association was large and the pattern of association exhibited a curvilinear dose response in 500 meter categories of altitude. There was a 4-5 fold increase in obesity prevalence at low altitude as compared with the highest altitude category after controlling for diet, activity level, smoking, demographics, temperature, and urbanization. We published our findings in the International Journal of Obesity (advance online publication doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.5) and presented at the 2013 American College of Preventive Medicine conference.


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Anonymous says April 15, 2013

Have not read the paper. I wonder though if this correlation would remain after controlling for race or income. My sense is that higher altitude cities are whiter and attract skiers and hikers as inmigrants. Think Aspen, all of Vermont, western Montana. Who lives in the smokey mountains? White people.

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