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

Ming Chin Yeh, Nina Parikh, Alison E. Megliola, Elizabeth A. Kelvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the relationship between immigration-related factors and body mass index (BMI) among immigrants. Design: Secondary analyses of cross-sectional survey data. Setting: 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. Participants: A total of 8573 US immigrants. Measures: 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. Analysis: Nested multivariable linear regression analysis was used to estimate the independent relationships between BMI and the variables of interest. Results: 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). Conclusion: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

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Emigration and Immigration
body weight
immigration
immigrant
Body Weight
Body Mass Index
Refugees
legalization
refugee
History
Reunion
family reunion
Sampling Studies
reunification
telephone interview
Internship and Residency
history
Linear Models
regression analysis
Language

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • immigrants
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • visa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Immigration Status, Visa Types, and Body Weight Among New Immigrants in the United States. / Yeh, Ming Chin; Parikh, Nina; Megliola, Alison E.; Kelvin, Elizabeth A.

In: American Journal of Health Promotion, Vol. 32, No. 3, 01.03.2018, p. 771-778.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yeh, Ming Chin ; Parikh, Nina ; Megliola, Alison E. ; Kelvin, Elizabeth A. / Immigration Status, Visa Types, and Body Weight Among New Immigrants in the United States. In: American Journal of Health Promotion. 2018 ; Vol. 32, No. 3. pp. 771-778.
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