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Title:Migration and health: A study of Asian Indian high-skilled migrants in central Illinois
Author(s):Dave, Mudita
Director of Research:Alston, Reginald J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Alston, Reginald J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Graber, Kim C.; Farner, Susan M.; Notaro, Stephen J.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Asian Indian
body mass Index
chronic diseases
gender studies
H-1B visa
high-skilled migrants
information technology
overweight and obesity
Physical activity
Abstract:The goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Asian Indian high skilled migrants in central Illinois and quantify the magnitude of association between the prevalence of overweight and obesity and duration of residence in the United States (US). Body mass index (BMI), measured as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters, that was based on self-reported height and weight measurements, was the main outcome measure for this study. Other outcome variables were self-reported changes in post-migration diet and participation in physical activity. A multi-method approach was used for this study; qualitative focus groups facilitated the development of the quantitative survey instrument. A total of 195 participants took the quantitative survey, which assessed changes in post-migration diet and physical activity among other post-migration health behaviors and outcomes. The prevalence of overweight among the study participants was 39% and that of obesity was 10.3%. While overweight and obesity increased with increasing duration of residence in the US, this study demonstrated that the prevalence of overweight or obesity was highest among those who have lived in the US for less than one year, compared to those who have been in the US for longer. This is an important finding that corroborates with research, which demonstrates that overweight and obesity is on the rise in India. This is attributed to factors like high rate of national growth along with rising individual incomes and the popularity of Western diet and lifestyle, among others. In summary, adoption of mainstream Western diet emerged as the single most important predictor of overweight or obesity among the study participants in this research. Statistically significant relationship existed between overweight and obesity and post-migration change in diet, high level of physical activity, duration of residence in the US, male gender and married status. This study recommends culturally sensitive health education efforts targeted towards preventing overweight and obesity among the Asian Indian high-skilled migrants in central Illinois as well as among similar populations elsewhere, urgently. The study also emphasizes the need for future interdisciplinary and longitudinal research in India and the US, that engages important stakeholders like universities, corporations, community organizations, healthcare providers and the Asian Indian community members to better understand and address the implications of health outcomes like overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Issue Date:2013-05-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Mudita Munjal Dave
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-28
Date Deposited:2013-05

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