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Immigration Status, Visa Types, and Body Weight Among New Immigrants in the United States.

Authors
  • Yeh, Ming-Chin1
  • Parikh, Nina S2
  • Megliola, Alison E1
  • Kelvin, Elizabeth A3
  • 1 1 Nutrition Program, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA.
  • 2 2 College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
  • 3 3 Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of health promotion : AJHP
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2018
Volume
32
Issue
3
Pages
771–778
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0890117116677797
PMID: 27899682
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To investigate the relationship between immigration-related factors and body mass index (BMI) among immigrants. Secondary analyses of cross-sectional survey data. The New Immigrant Survey (NIS-2003) contains data from in-person or telephone interviews between May and November 2003, with a probability sample of immigrants granted legal permanent residency in the United States. A total of 8573 US immigrants. The NIS-2003 provided data on sociobehavioral domains, including migration history, education, employment, marital history, language, and health-related behaviors. The visa classifications are as follows: (1) family reunification, (2) employment, (3) diversity, (4) refugee, and (5) legalization. Nested multivariable linear regression analysis was used to estimate the independent relationships between BMI and the variables of interest. Overall, 32.6% of participants were overweight and 11.3% were obese (mean BMI = 25). Participants who were admitted to the United States with employment, refugee, or legalization visas compared with those who came with family reunion visas had a significantly higher BMI ( P < .001, P < .001, P < .01, respectively). Duration in the United States predicted BMI, with those immigrants in the United States longer having a higher BMI ( P < .001). Our findings suggest that immigrants who obtain particular visa categorizations and immigration status might have a higher risk of being overweight or obese. Immigrants need to be targeted along with the rest of the US population for weight management interventions.

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