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Acculturation and obesity among migrant populations in high income countries - a systematic review

Delavari, Maryam, Sonderlund, Anders Larrabee, Swinburn, Boyd, Mellor, David and Renzaho, Andre 2013, Acculturation and obesity among migrant populations in high income countries - a systematic review, BMC Public Health, vol. 13, no. 1, Article 458, pp. 1-11.

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Title Acculturation and obesity among migrant populations in high income countries - a systematic review
Author(s) Delavari, Maryam
Sonderlund, Anders Larrabee
Swinburn, Boyd
Mellor, David
Renzaho, Andre
Journal name BMC Public Health
Volume number 13
Issue number 1
Season Article 458
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013-05
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) acculturation
acculturation scale
BMI
diet
immigration
Summary Background:
There is evidence to suggest that immigrant populations from low or medium-income countries to high income countries show a significant change in obesogenic behaviors in the host society, and that these changes are associated with acculturation. However, the results of studies vary depending on how acculturation is measured. The objective of this study is to systematically review the evidence on the relationship between acculturation - as measured with a standardized acculturation scale - and overweight/obesity among adult migrants from low/middle countries to high income countries.

Methods:
A systematic review of relevant studies was undertaken using six EBSCOhost databases and following the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination's Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care. 

Results:
The initial search identified 1135 potentially relevant publications, of which only nine studies met the selection criteria. All of the studies were from the US with migrant populations from eight different countries. Six studies employed bi-directional acculturation scales and three used uni-directional scales. Six studies indicated positive general associations between higher acculturation and body mass index (BMI), and three studies reported that higher acculturation was associated with lower BMI, as mainly among women.

Conclusion:
Despite the small number of studies, a number of potential explanatory hypotheses were developed for these emerging patterns. The 'Healthy Migrant Effect' may diminish with greater acculturation as the host culture potentially promotes more unhealthy weight gain than heritage cultures. This appears particularly so for men and a rapid form of nutrition transition represents a likely contributor. The inconsistent results observed for women may be due to the interplay of cultural influences on body image, food choices and physical activity. That is, the Western ideal of a slim female body and higher values placed on physical activity and fitness may counteract the obesogenic food environment for female migrants.
Language eng
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 920503 Health Related to Specific Ethnic Groups
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, BioMed Central
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056681

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.