Immigrant Concentration, Acculturation, and Child Obesity Risk
Hiromi Ishizawa, George Washington University
Antwan Jones, George Washington University
Researchers from various disciplines repeatedly find that immigrants are healthier than their native-born counterparts. Among children, however, the support is mixed. Overall, past studies suggest that not all children of immigrants enjoy a health advantage. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we investigate the link between acculturation and obesity and examine whether this association varies by neighborhood characteristics. While an immigrant health advantage was found for first generation Asians, an increase in obesity risk was found for second and higher immigrant generation Hispanics compared to third and higher generation whites. Further, in disadvantaged neighborhoods, a high concentration of immigrants appears to work as a buffer against behaviors that relate to the risk of obesity.