Online Program

Predictors of Obesity among Nigerian Immigrants in the United States

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Olawunmi Obisesan, PhD, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Wen-Hung Kuo, PhD, College of health sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN
Michael Brunet, PhD, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Adekunle Obisesan, MD, MPH, Southeast Hospital, Cape Girardeau, MO
Olubusayo Akinola, PhD, College of health sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN
Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Obesity has been identified as a significant risk factor for chronic diseases, contributing to health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations. Though research has identified an increased risk for obesity in some immigrant populations, there is little or no research on the heterogeneity of obesity predictors in certain specific immigrant populations in the United States.

Methods: This study examined the predictors of obesity in the Nigerian Immigrant population in the United States. Guided by the social ecological model and the segmented assimilation theory, this cross-sectional study collected primary data from 205 Nigerian immigrants in the United States using the CDC’s behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS). Spearman’s correlation and logistics regressions were used to analyze data through SPSS.

Results: The results showed no significant relationship between obesity and level of education, socio-economic status, length of stay, and level of physical activity. This study, however, identified a significant association between weekly consumption of alcohol and all obesity (OR 1.78, p=0.021), and moderate/morbid obesity (OR 2.46, p = .013). There was also a significant association between gender and moderate/morbid obesity (OR .030,, p= .031).

Conclusion: The findings provide strong evidence to inform advocacy for public health policies that facilitate an environment that enable Nigerian immigrant women live healthier lifestyles, and also allow for the widespread promotion of obesity prevention education programs, including targeted screenings for- and education in alcohol consumption, that engage Nigerian immigrant community as a whole.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify obesity as a heterogeneous condition in immigrants. Identify unique predictors of obesity among Nigerian immigrants.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student and a certified health education specialist(CHES) who has worked with several immigrant populations. I conduct research on health issues affecting Immigrants with the purpose of designing culturally appropriate health promotion interventions in community-based settings.
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.