After researching different countries obesity rates, average income, and population
density, we noticed limitations and obstacles that could arise in both our data and conclusion.
Initially it may seem that using BMI as a measure of obesity may be inaccurate, however, after
conducting research, it appears that BMI is quite accurate at determining obesity. There are only
a small amount of people who have a BMI indicating obesity but are not actually obese: “When
sampling from the general population, over 95% of men and 99% of women identified as obese
by BMI were also obese via body fat levels” (Medical News Today). One other limitations in our
study is that we categorized counties as either rural or urban rather than categorizing cities or
towns. This is a limitation because certain cities or towns of a county may be urban while
another city of the same county could be rural. Additionally, counties do not have the same
populations and boundaries; many counties are biased due to gerrymandering which can cause
our data to contain inaccuracies underlying the research. Perhaps instead we should have selected
tighter regions to analyze such as an area’s zip code or city/town rather than a large county. After
conducting our research, we found that one of our initial predictions made in our hypothesis was
incorrect; we discovered that rural areas were in fact more obese than urban areas. This could in
part be due to the shift made during the industrialization era. Prior to the industrial revolution,
manual labor accounted for a majority of farming. However, in today’s society, machines do a
large portion of the labor: “Increased mechanization of rural occupations has reduced these
levels of caloric expenditure, which may impact the younger working adults the most” (Befort).
Following our research, if we as a society can come to a conclusion of the factors
correlated with obesity, we can perhaps alter the public image. By changing public opinion on
the causes of obesity, obesity can be seen as curable condition rather than a permanent disease.
People may be more conscious about what they eat, how much they eat, and how often they
exercise. Inversely, this study can promote a more understand society when it comes to the
judgement of obese people. By determining the environmental factors that influence obesity,
society won’t blame the obese individually entirely and will instead look more closely at our
society which promotes obese habits and poor dietary choices.