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Urban-rural differences in the health-promoting behaviours of Albertans.


Few investigators have examined whether the behaviours undertaken to promote health differ with respect to geographic location. On the basis of data from a telephone survey of a probability sample of 853 Albertans, respondents were divided into groups according to residence in one of four geographic locations: large cities, small cities, towns, or rural settings, including villages and farms. When the confounding effects of sex, age, income and education were controlled for, those living in rural settings, compared with those living in large cities, were found to engage in healthier behaviours, including sleeping seven or more hours a day, eating three meals a day, and avoiding the excessive consumption of alcohol. A significantly greater proportion of

individuals in geographic locations other than large cities reported that they frequently consumed fried and fatty foods. Although no geographic differences were noted in smoking, more town and rural dwellers placed smoking cessation as a priority for health improvement.