EMR Research Links BMI and Farmer's Markets


Practice Fusion’s Research Division identified a correlation between BMI data and key health indicators.

Interestingly, availability of a farmer’s market is associated with lower Body Mass Index (BMI). The study also found that fruit consumption is tied to healthier BMI levels. Predictably, BMI data correlates to other key health indicators such as region, age, gender, income and education level.

Key findings from the BMI analysis:

  • Increased farmers’ market availability correlates to lower BMI
  • Increased fresh fruit consumption also appears to be associated with lower BMI
  • There is a correlation between BMI and prevalence of diabetes
  • Above-average regional BMI is tied to lower life expectancy at birth

“As a family practice physician, I have a first-hand view of the devastating impact that obesity can have on patients,” said Robert Rowley, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Practice Fusion. “The promise of improved quality of life can unfold much faster than ever before with fast, secure, electronic health data enabling our understanding of disease and how best to treat these conditions.”

Practice Fusion and Microsoft Windows Azure are currently inviting data analysis teams to participate in the Analyze This! challenge hosted by Health 2.0. With free access to a de-identified health dataset, researchers can conduct rapid analysis of health trends similar to the BMI report issued today, including further study of the relationships between BMI and availability of fast food establishments, social welfare programs and incidence of other diseases.

The Practice Fusion BMI analysis used 72,000 de-identified records from a national sample of adult patients (age >18 years). Reporters interested in accessing additional insights or health datasets are invited to contact hphung@practicefusion.com.

About Practice Fusion’s Research Division

Practice Fusion’s Research Division provides information from one of the largest, longitudinal clinical databases in the US for the purposes of clinical research and public health analysis. With a focus on real-time insight into adverse drug reactions, disease outbreaks and other national health issues, Practice Fusion’s Research Division powers studies that are providing new insight into healthcare and how it is delivered. All research information utilized is fully de-identified and compliant with HIPAA cfr 164.514. For more information, visit www.practicefusion.com/research.

Contributing Writer

Practice Fusion draws from a community of doctors, medical experts, and digital health influencers that contribute to blog posts. Read all posts from our guest writers