Rural and Remote Food Environments and Obesity

Document Type


Publication Date



Access/Insurance, MRHRC

Publication Title

Current Obesity Reports


Rural residents are more likely to be obese and overweight compared to their urban counterparts. Studies of specific rural communities have found that the limited availability of healthy foods in the community and home as well as individual characteristics and preferences contribute to poor diet and overweight. The rural food environment is varied and may be affected by climate, regional and cultural preferences, transportation access, and remoteness among other factors. Given this diversity and the vulnerabilities of rural residents, who are more likely to have low-income, substandard housing or low educational attainment compared to their urban counterparts, policy and programmatic interventions should target specific needs and communities. This review will describe the rural community, home, and individual food environments and what is known about their roles in healthy eating.