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Adversities of acculturation? Prevalence of obesity among immigrants

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  • Neeraj Kaushal

Abstract

I study factors associated with prevalence of obesity among immigrants as the length of their stay in the US becomes longer. Using the National Health Interview Surveys for 1990-2004, I create 'synthetic cohorts' of immigrants that allow controlling for two important determinants of obesity: age at arrival and period of arrival in the US. I find that immigrants with a BA degree did not experience any change in obesity as their stay in the US advanced. Obesity among those without a BA degree, however, increased with duration of stay. Similarly, while some ethnic groups experienced increase in obesity with duration, others did not. For those who experienced increase in obesity with duration, the rise was higher during the first five years of residence than later and greater for those who arrived at a relatively young age. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Neeraj Kaushal, 2009. "Adversities of acculturation? Prevalence of obesity among immigrants," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 291-303.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:3:p:291-303
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1368
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Zhang, Qi & Wang, Youfa, 2004. "Socioeconomic inequality of obesity in the United States: do gender, age, and ethnicity matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1171-1180, March.
    3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:3:392-399_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
    8. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "Immigrant Health--Selectivity and Acculturation," Labor and Demography 0412002, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra Albrecht & Ana Diez Roux & Allison Aiello & Amy Schulz & Ana Abraido-Lanza, 2013. "Secular trends in the association between nativity/length of US residence with body mass index and waist circumference among Mexican-Americans, 1988–2008," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(4), pages 573-581, August.
    2. Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Emma V. & Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A. & Almeida, Joanna, 2012. "Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2060-2068.
    3. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:3-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Susan Averett & Laura Argys & Jennifer Kohn, 2012. "Immigration, obesity and labor market outcomes in the UK," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Averett, Susan L. & Argys, Laura M. & Kohn, Jennifer L., 2012. "Immigration, Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 6454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Cawley, John & Han, Euna & Norton, Edward C., 2009. "Obesity and labor market outcomes among legal immigrants to the United States from developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 153-164, July.
    7. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:37-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bridget K. Gorman & Cynthia Novoa & Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, 2016. "Migration Decisions, Acculturation, and Overweight among Asian and Latino Immigrant Adults in the United States," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 728-757, September.
    9. Amy Damon & Devon Kristiansen, 2014. "Childhood obesity in Mexico: the effect of international migration," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(6), pages 711-727, November.
    10. Susan L. Averett & Laura M. Argys & Jennifer L. Kohn, 2013. "Immigrants, wages and obesity: the weight of the evidence," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 13, pages 242-256 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Laura Argys, 2015. "Consequences of the obesity epidemic for immigrants," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 210-210, December.
    12. Ro, Annie & Bostean, Georgiana, 2015. "Duration of U.S. stay and body mass index among Latino and Asian immigrants: A test of theoretical pathways," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 39-47.
    13. Katare, Bhagyashree, 2015. "Is Obesity Contagious? Evidence from International Graduate Students (Revised)," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 199049, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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