Mental health, obesity, food access, population health, poverty


This study investigates the nexus between obesity, mental health, and food access across counties in the state of Mississippi. Recent research suggests that food access and poor nutrition may not only lead to poor physical health, but may also increase depression. Data from the USDA and the CDC were used to estimate obesity and mental health rates across counties. Analyses revealed that poverty was the key factor influencing on obesity and mental health at the county level. More specifically, county level per capita SNAP benefits and status of persistent poverty were predictors of obesity and mental health. Findings are discussed in light of identifying the community determinants of food access and their impact on health.

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