With ties to [type 2] diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, childhood obesity in wealthy countries is certainly of growing concern to researchers. A new study explores the ties between childhood weight problems, socioeconomic status, and nationality and finds that race, ethnicity, and immigrant status are risk factors for weight problems among children in the U.S. and England. This new study was published recently in the The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science titled "Migrant Youths and Children of Migrants in a Globalized World."

"In the United States, both Hispanic and black children of native-born mothers have a higher risk of overweight than children of native-born whites," wrote study authors Melissa L. Martinson, Sara McLanahan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. "In England, children of native-born black mothers have a higher risk of overweight, and in some models, children of native-born Asian mothers have a higher risk."

The researchers studied data of 6,816 children from the U.S. and the UK to analyze childhood weight problems among certain demographics. In addition to finding ties between ethnicity, immigrant status, and weight problems for children, the study also found that socioeconomic status is only a risk factor for weight problems among white children and is not a determining factor for children of other races.

"Unless migrant youths are engaged in the labor market, they often are ignored by international reports about migration and development," wrote editors Alícia Adserá and Marta Tienda.

"Migration requires youths to make sense of a new country by learning to navigate the social institutions of their host society and, more often than not, a new language," the editors wrote. "Many migrant children must cope with unwelcoming communities, particularly if they settle in places where residents are unaccustomed to foreigners."


Source: SAGE Publications Press Release