The Long Arm of Immigrant Acculturation: Does Contact with the U.S. Increase the Risk of Overweight/Obesity in Mexican Sending Communities?

Fernando Riosmena, University of Colorado at Boulder
Reanne Frank, Ohio State University
Ilana Redstone Akresh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Past research has shown that remittances from Mexico-US migration alter the health profile of children left behind in sending communities, generally in a positive way. We argue that this may be just one of the by-products of the acceleration of the epidemiological transition in sending areas brought by transnational connections brought by migration in certain health behaviors that are linked to gains in adult body mass. We use socioeconomic and anthropometric data from the 2000 Mexican National Health Survey matched to municipal-level migration intensity and marginalization indices from Mexico’s Population Council (CONAPO). Preliminary findings suggest a significant and positive relationship between community-level migration prevalence and individual risk of being overweight net of the marginalization level in the community. In the future, we will evaluate the relationship across different community contexts; separate the contribution of remittance flows from those of migrant circulation; and include measures of individual SES and household welfare.

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Presented in Poster Session 1