174817 Dramatic Increases in Obesity and Overweight Prevalence among Ethnic-Immigrant and Social Class Groups in the United States, 1991-2006

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gopal K. Singh, PhD , Office of Data and Program Development, HRSA/Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Rockville, MD
Mohammad Siahpush, PhD , Health Promotion, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD , UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
This study examined trends in obesity and overweight prevalence among 33 immigrant groups, stratified by race/ethnicity and length of immigration, and among detailed education, occupation, and income groups from 1991-2006. Using temporal micro-data from the 1991-2006 National Health Interview Surveys, both observed differentials in obesity and overweight and differentials, adjusted for physical activity and several sociodemographic variables, were analyzed using disparity indices and multivariate logistic regression. During 1991-2006, the obesity prevalence for US-born adults aged 18+ increased from 14% to 27%, while the prevalence for immigrants increased at a slower rate from 9% to 17%. Overall, obesity differentials between US-born and immigrants (differentiated by duration of residence in the US) increased two-fold during the study period. While immigrants in each ethnic group and time period had lower obesity prevalence than the US-born, the immigrants' risk of obesity increased with increasing duration of residence. Obesity prevalence in 2001-2006 ranged from <6% for recent Chinese, Asian Indian, and Filipino immigrants to >31% for US-born blacks and Mexicans, and US-born and long-term Puerto Rican immigrants. Although higher obesity prevalence was observed for lower education, income, and occupation levels in each period, socioeconomic gradients in obesity decreased over time because of more rapid increases in obesity in higher socioeconomic groups. Immigrants, who are an important and growing segment of the US population, are expected to have a substantial impact on the future obesity trends. If immigrants had the same prevalence as the US-born, the current obesity crisis in America would be much worse.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe national trends in immigrant and social class inequalities in the prevalence of obesity and overweight, one of the 10 leading health indicators for the nation. 2. Learn about survey methods and surveillance models for analyzing social group disparities over time. 3. Identify immigrant and social class groups that are at risk for relatively high rates of obesity and which have experienced substantial increases in their obesity rates.

Keywords: Immigrants, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the study and wrote the manuscript.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.