The Shape of Things to Come? Obesity Prevalence among Foreign-born vs. US-born Mexican Youth in California.

Citation:

Buttenheim AM, Pebley AR, Hsih K, Chung C, Goldman N. The Shape of Things to Come? Obesity Prevalence among Foreign-born vs. US-born Mexican Youth in California. Social Science & Medicine. 2013;78 :1-8.

Abstract:

Obesity among the Mexican-origin adult population in the US has been associated with longer stays in the US and with being US- vs. Mexican-born, two proxies for acculturation. This pattern is less clear for Mexican-origin children and young adults: recent evidence suggests that it may be reversed, with foreign-born Mexican youth in the US at higher risk of obesity than their US-born Mexican–American counterparts. The objective of this study is to evaluate the hypothesis that the immigrant advantage in obesity prevalence for Mexican-origin populations in the US does not hold for children and young adults. We use data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (N = 1143) and the California Health Interview Survey (N = 25,487) for respondents ages 4–24 to calculate the odds of overweight/obesity by ethnicity and nativity. We find support for the hypothesis that overweight/obesity prevalence is not significantly lower for first-generation compared to second- and third-generation Mexican-origin youth. Significantly higher obesity prevalence among the first generation was observed for young adult males (ages 18–24) and adolescent females (ages 12–17). The previously-observed protective effect against obesity risk among recent adult immigrants does not hold for Mexican-origin youth.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 07/12/2018