"Any focus on improving diet and increasing activity can help reduce child obesity and the related diseases such as diabetes," says Morris.
Morris also points to several programs that can help reduce rural disparities.
"The National Health Service Corps, a network of medical, dental and behavioral health professionals in medically underserved areas, tripled in size in the last three years with funding from the Affordable Care Act," he says. He also adds that the CDC just provided funding for the Community Transformation Grant program, which supports community efforts to reduce chronic diseases.
"This program has a 20% rural funding set-aside in the state awards, and could play a key role in addressing some of the health care challenges facing rural children," he says.
The children's health report, which is published every four years,examined the overall health of rural children in the United States from birth to 17 years. The data comes from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, which collected information from parents between April 2007 and July 2008 about more than 91,000 children.