Socio-demographic and dietary factors associated with excess body weight and abdominal obesity among resettled Bhutanese refugee women in Northeast Ohio, United States

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Bhatta MP, Assad L, Shakya S. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jun 25;11(7):6639-52. 

Studies of obesity and related health conditions among the Bhutanese, one of the largest refugee groups resettled in the United States in the past five years, are limited. This study examined the factors associated with excess body weight (body mass index ≥ 23 kg/m2) and abdominal obesity (waist circumference > 80 cm) in a community-based sample of 18-65 year old Bhutanese refugee women in Northeast Ohio. A Nepali-language questionnaire was used to measure socio-demographic and dietary factors. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured to define excess body weight and abdominal obesity. The mean (±standard deviation) age of the 108 participants was 36.5 (±12.2) years and length of time in the U.S. was 19.4 (±11.9) months. Overall, 64.8% and 69.4% of the women had excess body weight and abdominal obesity, respectively. Age was significantly associated with both excess body weight (odds ratio: 1.10; 95% confidence interval: 1.05-1.16) and abdominal obesity (1.09; 1.04-1.14). Consuming meat (4.01; 1.14-14.60) was significantly associated with excess body weight but not abdominal obesity.These findings suggest the need for lifestyle and dietary change education programs among this new and vulnerable group to reduce the prevalence of excess body weight and abdominal obesity and their health consequences.

Link is to full article, available for free.

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