Mexican Immigrants' Evaluations of Their Weight Status

Jonathan Gonzalez, Pennsylvania State University
Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University

Using comparable data of adults ages 25-64 from both Mexico (2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutricion) and the United States (1999-2007 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys), we compare weight status self-evaluations among Mexico residents, Mexican immigrants, U.S.-born Mexican-Americans, and U.S.-born non-Hispanic Whites. Logistic regression analyses, which control for demographic and social-economic variables and measured body mass index, indicate that Mexicans with greater exposure to the United States are more likely to classify themselves as overweight, i.e., increasing from Mexico residents, newly-arrived immigrants, settled immigrants, U.S.-born Mexicans, and finally U.S.-born non-Hispanic whites. The association is stronger for women than men. Overall, the results suggest that Mexican-American women's less critical self-evaluations may originate in Mexico but fade with time in the United States, perhaps offsetting some of the unhealthy consequences of U.S. residence on weight.

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Presented in Poster Session 3