Most recent update: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 15:09

Bariatric News - Cookies & privacy policy

You are here

US Latino men and obesity

Latino men in the US more susceptible to obesity

US born Latino men were more than twice as likely to be obese than those born outside the US and that could be a problem for the nation's workforce

Moving to the US could be taking a toll on the health of Latino men as a new study from Florida State University reported Latino men who are born or live in the US for more than five years are more susceptible to obesity.  The study, led by Professor Amy Ai, found US born Latino men were more than twice as likely to be obese than those born outside the US and that could be a problem for the nation's workforce.

"Latinos have become the No 1 minority in the US," Ai said. "They are also gradually becoming the majority of blue-collar workers. It is important to know about the health conditions of our labour force. If we do not, those conditions could become a public health burden in the future."

In the study, ‘Acculturation Factors Related to Obesity of Latino American Men Nationwide, American Journal of Men's Health’, published in the American Journal of Men's Health, the researchers also found that the longer Latino men live in the US, the more susceptible they are to obesity. Those who lived in the US for more than 21 years were 1.5 times more likely to become obese than other foreign-born men, and those who lived in America for five to ten years were 1.2 times more likely to be obese.

Researchers used data from a household representative sample of the National Latin and Asian American Study to conduct their research. The study includes responses from 1,127 men surveyed from 2002 to 2003.

The team also examined obesity rates based on ethnicity. They found Mexican men were more susceptible to obesity than other groups such as Cubans or Puerto Ricans. In one model, Cuban men were 48 percent less likely to be obese compared to Mexican men. Other Latinos were 35 percent less likely in comparison.

"For this we have some explanation," Ai said. "Mexican men tend to have lower socioeconomic status than Puerto Rican and Cuban men. They are more likely to take on jobs that have a migrant lifestyle, such as farm workers, construction workers and truck drivers, leaving family behind. They aren't eating home-cooked meals, which exposes them to unhealthy fast food."

The findings, if replicated in prospective research, suggest the need for gender-and ethnic-specific intervention for obesity in Latino American men, particularly for the largest subgroup, Mexican Americans.

Ai and her team encourage employers to share knowledge about healthy eating habits with their employees in order to reduce the harmful impact of acculturation on their Latino male employees.

To access this paper, please click here

Want more stories like this? Subscribe to Bariatric News!

Bariatric News
Keep up to date! Get the latest news in your inbox. NOTE: Bariatric News WILL NOT pass on your details to 3rd parties. However, you may receive ‘marketing emails’ sent by us on behalf of 3rd parties.