People living in areas of Appalachian Ohio face higher rates of diabetes than the rest of the state . According to researches, higher poverty levels in the region could be the reason .
According to the Appalachian Rural Health Institute at Ohio University, the average rate of diabetes in seven southeastern Ohio counties covered by the research is high, at 11.3 per cent. Perry County was the worst afflicted, with a diabetes rate of 14.2 per cent. This sites at almost twice the national average of 7.2 per cent.
Researchers have directly linked the problem to poverty. Frank Schwartz, the director of the diabetes centre at the Appalachian Rural Health Institute said that: “we know that, for example, people who have a lower socio-economic status tend to eat less-healthy diets . They tend to eat high-density foods, so they get high amounts of fat . They just don’t have the background in Nutrition, so they don’t make proper choices.”
The Appalachian region comprises 29 counties in Ohio, about a third of the state and home to almost 1.5 million people. Appalachia, stretching from southern New York to Northern Alabama, is an impoverished area that struggles with poverty, job losses, poor access to education and sparse population in some areas. Access to healthcare can also be a problem. Diet was highlighted as a major part of the problem.

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