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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 

Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.

2020Talks - September 30, 2020 

Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Rural North Dakotans Don't Fare So Well in a Fitness Face-Off With City Dwellers

January 13, 2009

Lyons, NE – The belief that the rural lifestyle prompts North Dakotans to stay slimmer, eat better and do harder physical labor than city dwellers appears to be just a myth.

It's been debunked in a new overview of national research, by Dr. Joe Blankenau of Wayne State College and released by the Center for Rural Affairs. Jon Bailey, the Center's rural research and analysis program director, believes the health of the nation's smalltown citizens isn't what it used to be.

"By a lot of different measures, rural Americans are a lot less healthy, a lot less physically fit and more obese than non-rural people. That is particularly true for rural children."

The report points out that fewer rural people today actually work on farms, so they don't do as much physical labor as in years past. And, when it comes to getting regular exercise, rural residents have less immediate access to the kinds of amenities that city folk take for granted.

"Rural Americans don't have access to some of the things that allow for physical activity, like gyms, walking trails and biking trails, and those sorts of things."

In Bailey's opinion, the rural obesity problem should be alarming because it is second only to tobacco as a cause of death in the United States. He says rural and urban needs must both be considered in the national debate on healthcare reform.

The full report can be viewed online, at

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND