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Migration, acculturation and environment: determinants of obesity among Iranian migrants in Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2015, 00:00 authored by Maryam Delavari, Anders Sonderlund, David MellorDavid Mellor, Mohammadreza MohebbiMohammadreza Mohebbi, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
While migration from low- to high-income countries is typically associated with weight gain, the obesity risks of migration from middle-income countries are less certain. In addition to changes in behaviours and cultural orientation upon migration, analyses of changes in environments are needed to explain post-migration risks for obesity. The present study examines the interaction between obesity-related environmental factors and the pattern of migrant acculturation in a sample of 152 Iranian immigrants in Victoria, Australia. Weight measurements, demographics, physical activity levels and diet habits were also surveyed. The pattern of acculturation (relative integration, assimilation, separation or marginalization) was not related to body mass index, diet, or physical activity behaviours. Three relevant aspects of participants' perception of the Australian environment (physically active environments, social pressure to be fit, unhealthy food environments) varied considerably by demographic characteristics, but only one (physically active environments) was related to a pattern of acculturation (assimilation). Overall, this research highlighted a number of key relationships between acculturation and obesity-related environments and behaviours for our study sample. Theoretical models on migration, culture and obesity need to include environmental factors.

History

Journal

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

12

Issue

2

Pagination

1083 - 1098

Publisher

MDPI AG

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

1660-4601

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, MDPI AG