Immigration and obesity among lower income blacks.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Our objective was to examine the associations of nativity, immigrant generation, and language acculturation with obesity among lower income black adult men and women.

Research methods and procedures

Data from 551 black adult men and women were collected from participants in the Healthy Directions-Health Centers Study. Race/ethnicity and nativity were self-reported. Language acculturation was defined using participants' first language, preferred reading language, and language spoken at home. Mixed model logistic regression models were estimated to account for within-health center clustering.


Foreign-born blacks had a lower obesity risk, compared with all U.S.-born participants, in multivariable analyses [odds ratio (OR) = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.38, 0.84]. Among U.S.-born participants, those with foreign-born parents were significantly less likely to be obese than individuals with U.S.-born parents (OR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.37, 0.80). Low-moderate language acculturation also decreased the odds of being obese (OR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23, 0.88).


Our findings suggest a protective effect of foreign-born status and low-moderate language acculturation on obesity risk among lower income black immigrants. These data highlight the importance of more frequently examining nativity in obesity-related research conducted among blacks.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bennett, GG; Wolin, KY; Askew, S; Fletcher, R; Emmons, KM

Published Date

  • June 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1391 - 1394

PubMed ID

  • 17557975

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-739X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1930-7381

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/oby.2007.166


  • eng