Journal of Biosocial Science

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Regular Articles

TO BE AN IMMIGRANT: A RISK FACTOR FOR DEVELOPING OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY DURING CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE?


SYLVIA  KIRCHENGAST  a1 and EDITH  SCHOBER  a2
a1 Institute for Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria
a2 University Clinic for Paediatrics, Medical University Vienna, Austria

Article author query
kirchengast s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
schober e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Childhood overweight and obesity, especially among migrant children, are current health problems in several European countries. In the present study the prevalence of overweight and obesity among migrant children from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia was documented and compared with that of Austrian children in Vienna. Anthropometric data from 1786 children were collected at the ages of 6, 10 and 15 years. Body mass was estimated by means of the body mass index and percentile curves were used to determine weight status. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be significantly higher among migrant children. Children and adolescents from the former Yugoslavia and Turkish girls exhibited especially high rates of overweight and obesity. Biosocial and cultural factors are discussed as causes of these observations.

(Published Online July 11 2005)