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Immigrants`s acculturation and chanes in body mass index

  • Iversen, Tor

    ()

    (Institute of Health Management and Health Economics)

  • Ma, Albert

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Meyer, Haakon E.

    ()

    (Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology)

We study Body Mass Index (BMI) changes among immigrants from Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam relative to native Norwegians in Oslo. We test a symmetric convergence hypothesis: irrespective of whether an immigrant’s initial BMI is lower or higher than a native Norwegian, acculturation should make the difference in BMI between an immigrant and a native smaller. Convergence is driven by acculturation, which is measured by immigrants’ language skills. Our data come from two surveys in Oslo 2000-2002. Weights and heights were measured at the surveys; participants were asked to recall weights when they were 25 years old. Norwegian language skills and various socio-economic data were collected. We use multivariate regression analysis. Our findings broadly support the symmetric convergence hypothesis. Proficiency in the Norwegian language tends to make immigrants’ BMI, particularly among females, more equal to native Norwegians. Immigrants’ time of residency has been found to have no impact on changes in BMI.

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File URL: http://www.med.uio.no/helsam/forskning/nettverk/hero/publikasjoner/skriftserie/2010/2010_3.pdf
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Paper provided by Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme in its series HERO On line Working Paper Series with number 2010:3.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2010_003
Contact details of provider: Postal: HERO / Institute of Health Management and Health Economics P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 2307 5309
Fax: 2307 5310
Web page: http://www.hero.uio.no/eng.htmlEmail:


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  1. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2005. "Is migration to Canada associated with unhealthy weight gain? Overweight and obesity among Canada's immigrants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 2469-2481, December.
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