Health Implications of Migration: Cross-Classified Multilevel Models to Disentangle Country of Origin and State of Resettlement Effects of Bodyweight

Rebecca Jones , Emory University
Regine Haardoerfer, Emory University
Solveig Cunningham, Emory University

Overweight and obesity are serious public health problems and contribute to the burden of chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research on foreign-born individuals has indicated better health on average than native-born upon arrival to the US with subsequent deterioration over time. Foreign-born people are a diverse group migrating from different countries origin and resettling in different states within the US. Both of these environments pre- and post-migration have differing demographic, social and economic characteristics which can affect health. We test what level of variance in bodyweight is attributable to individual-, country of origin-, and state of resettlement-level factors. Data come from the New Immigrant Survey, a nationally representative survey of foreign-born individuals from 2003. Understanding the multi-level factors associated with bodyweight can be useful in identifying the specific health needs, as well as contributing to our understanding of how specific environments shape the health behavior of populations.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization