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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1083-1098; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201083

Migration, Acculturation and Environment: Determinants of Obesity among Iranian Migrants in Australia

1
WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria 3125, Australia
2
School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QJ, UK
3
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria 3125, Australia
4
Biostatistics Unit, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria 3125, Australia
5
School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sloane Burke Winkelman
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [755 KB, uploaded 23 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: acculturation; obesity; physical environment; immigration; health; Iranians acculturation; obesity; physical environment; immigration; health; Iranians
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Delavari, M.; Sønderlund, A.L.; Mellor, D.; Mohebbi, M.; Swinburn, B. Migration, Acculturation and Environment: Determinants of Obesity among Iranian Migrants in Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1083-1098.

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