Health and Health-Related Behaviors Before and After Coming to the United States Among Newly Arrived International Students

Nida I. Shaikh, Emory University
Yueqi Li , Emory University
Hanyu Liu, Emory University
Solveig Cunningham, Emory University

Study-related migration is a major component of international migration, but less is known about the health and acculturation processes of international students. To capture the early stages of adaptation and integration into new environments, we sampled newly arrived international students (n=120) at two large universities in the Southeast United States within one month of their arrival and conducted surveys and anthropometric measurements to learn about their health and health-related behaviors. Students were on average 25 years old, 58% were women, 42% were from East Asia. Direct measurements showed that 66% had a normal body weight, 8% were underweight, 21% were overweight, 5% were obese and 24% had a high waist circumference. Students from South Asia were most often overweight or obese. Pre-migration diets had been quite diverse, with the highest diversity among East Asians and lowest diversity and most frequent consumption of high sugar and fat foods among South Asians.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth