The Effect of Rural-Urban Migration on BMI in Thailand

Philip A. Anglewicz, Tulane University
Elizabeth Nauman, Tulane University
Mark VanLandingham, Tulane University

As countries undergo the “nutrition transition”, reduced physical activity and increased consumption of saturated fats and sugars are growing concerns. Recent research suggests that migration to an urban area can play a role in these behaviors: rural to urban migration is associated with increased inactivity, consumption of fats and sugars, and risk of obesity and diabetes. Limitations exist, however, as most studies examining urbanization, migration and obesity have been limited to associations via cross-sectional data. We address this limitation by using data from Thailand to examine (1) potential selection of individuals with relatively higher or lower BMI into migration streams, and (2) the effect of rural to urban migration on BMI. The longitudinal nature of the data enables us to compare rural-urban migrants with non-migrant rural and urban residents; and to use fixed effects regression, thereby controlling for important unobserved time-invariant characteristics.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality