Issue Brief: Health Disparities Related to Obesity in Appalachia Practical Strategies and Recommendations for Communities

Author(s): Kate Beatty, Nathan Hale, Michael Meit, Megan Heffernan, Michelle Dougherty, Luciana Rocha, Kelsey Ruane, and Ginny Kidwell.
Author Organization(s): East Tennessee State University, NORC at the University of Chicago’s Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, Appalachian Regional Commission

The final reports in the Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia research initiative are a set of three issue briefs created to help inform community efforts related to the specific, prevalent Appalachian health issues of obesity, opioid misuse, and smoking.

This brief summarizes relevant health statistics, offers key strategies and resources for communities to explore, and provides recommendations for community leaders, funders, and policymakers aimed at reducing health disparities in the Appalachian Region related to obesity.

See the other issue briefs for strategies related to opioid misuse and smoking.

These briefs follow the initiative’s first three reports, Health Disparities in Appalachia, Identifying Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Statistical Analysis, and Exploring Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Case Studies.

Visit to learn more about the Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia health research initiative. This interactive website allows users to explore all of the initiative’s reports, as well create customized and downloadable data reports, charts, and maps.