IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Is migration to Canada associated with unhealthy weight gain? Overweight and obesity among Canada's immigrants

  • McDonald, James Ted
  • Kennedy, Steven

This paper aims to address a gap in our understanding of immigrant health issues by examining the determinants of excess weight--an important indicator of current and future health. The paper combines data drawn from recent large health surveys to identify how the weight of recent immigrants compares with that of native-born people, and how the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese changes with additional years in Canada. We find evidence that on average, immigrants are substantially less likely to be obese or overweight upon arrival in Canada. These measures converge slowly to native-born levels, but there is marked variation by the ethnicity of the immigrant. Since changes in weight will reflect choices with respect to diet and activity, the extent to which overweight and obesity rates change with years in Canada may reflect the extent to which immigrants interact with or are influenced by members of their ethnic group who reside in the same area. We find evidence that ethnic group social network effects exert a quantitatively important influence on the incidence of being overweight and obese for members of most ethnic minorities, tempering the process of adjustment to Canadian lifestyle norms that may be driving excess weight gain with additional years in Canada.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 61 (2005)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2469-2481

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:12:p:2469-2481
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:12:p:2469-2481. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.