Immigrant kids in US at higher obesity risk

IANS| Last Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 15:25 PM IST

Washington: Immigrant kids in the US are more likely to grow obese than US-born Caucasian children, a study says.

Children of Asian immigrants are nearly three times as likely to have lower levels of physical activity than US-born caucasian children, and children of Hispanic immigrants and those of unspecified ethnicity are nearly two times as likely.

"Children in immigrant families are at particular risk for low levels of physical activity, which we were unable to explain with a host of factors relating to family and neighbourhood characteristics," said Rachel Kimbro, an associate professor of sociology at Rice University in the US.

The study included data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which surveyed 17,510 participants with kindergarteners on issues affecting child development between 1998-99 in the US.

"These children comprise a growing population of American youth, and failing to address the low levels of physical activity among this group could have important long-term health consequences as this population transitions into adolescence and adulthood," Mackenzie Brewer from Rice University noted.

The study is forthcoming in the journal Social Science and Medicine.