247260 Social and cultural determinants of obesity among Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans living on the US-Mexico border in Southern California

Monday, October 31, 2011

Barbara Baquero, PhD, MPH , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
John P. Elder, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Guadalupe X. Ayala, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Obesity prevalence among Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans (MI-MA) living in the US has been linked to socio-demographic and behavioral factors. Emerging evidence suggests that the social and cultural characteristic of neighborhoods may also have an influence on their obesity rates. In 2009 a community wide survey was conducted to examine how social and cultural neighborhoods characteristics were associated with obesity among MI-MA living in the border region of San Diego, CA. Multistage sampling methods and multilevel models were implemented to examine the association of these factors on obesity. Of the 397 respondents, almost 47% of them were obese. Participants reported a mean age of 43.416.9, were 72.6% female and 77% Mexican born. Culturally, respondents scored high in the Hispanic domain of acculturation and crossed the border about 3 times per month, to visit family and friends in Mexico. Collective efficacy was an average of 3.5 (range 1 to 5). Their median social network was 4 (0-5) people, and reported an average reciprocity of 15 times per month. Neighborhoods where respondents live were 68% Latino with 27% home ownership. Findings suggest that middle-aged respondents with larger social networks were more likely to be obese. Times crossing the border to Mexico modified the effect of collective efficacy on obesity and home ownership modified the association between being Hispanic and obesity. The study provided evidence that cultural and social neighborhood characteristics were associated with obesity, among MI-MA living in this border region, and these characteristics should be considered when developing interventions.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Objective 1: To describe the social and cultural characteristics of neighborhoods along the Southern California Mexico border. Objective 2: To describe the association of social and cultural neighborhoods characteristics and obesity among Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans residents. Objective 3: To discuss implications for health promotion and health behaviors intervention among Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans.

Keywords: Obesity, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the implementation and data analysis for this study.
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.