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Length of residence and obesity risk among North African immigrant women in Italy

Stefania Toselli, Natascia Rinaldo and Emanuela Gualdi-Russo

Economics & Human Biology, 2019, vol. 34, issue C, 74-79

Abstract: Obesity is one of the major risks for chronic health conditions. Immigrants from low- and middle-income to high-income countries show a tendency to weight gain, with the country of origin, lifestyle habits, socioeconomic status and length of residence as the main factors involved. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the association between fat distribution and obesity with length of residence and other socio-demographic variables in a sample of North African women migrated to Italy. Socio-demographic variables were collected by structured face-to-face interview. For the assessment of weight status and body composition, various anthropometric traits were directly measured by an expert anthropometrist. Data were analyzed using ANCOVA adjusted for age to test the differences between length of residence (divided into three groups) and logistic regression models adjusted for covariates to test the association between overweight and/or obesity and length of residence. Significant differences between the three groups were observed in waist circumference (p = 0.004), waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.001), and upper arm muscularity (p = 0.025), with higher values in those with longer duration of residence. In the crude logistic regression model length of residence resulted positively associated with obesity with the odds of being obese increased by 2.4 times in long term immigrants [OR 2.364 (0.766; 7.296)]. After adjusting for covariate the association remained significant [OR 3.584 (0.779; 16.480)], and being poorly educated [OR 5.737 (0.641; 51.363)], unemployed [OR 6.892 (0.940; 50.528)] and not practicing regular physical activity [OR 17.736 (1.569; 200.418)] increased the odds ratio of being obese.

Keywords: Immigrants; Women; Italy; Obesity; Length of residence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.03.008

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