Durational and generational differences in Mexican immigrant obesity: Is acculturation the explanation?

Mathew J. Creighton, Noreen Goldman, Anne R. Pebley, Chang Y. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Using the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS-2; . n = 1610), we explore the link between Mexican immigrant acculturation, diet, exercise and obesity. We distinguish Mexican immigrants and 2nd generation Mexicans from 3rd+ generation whites, blacks and Mexicans. First, we examine variation in social and linguistic measures by race/ethnicity, duration of residence and immigrant generation. Second, we consider the association between acculturation, diet and exercise. Third, we evaluate the degree to which acculturation, diet, exercise, and socioeconomic status explain the association between race/ethnicity, immigrant exposure to the US (duration since immigration/generation), and adult obesity. Among immigrants, we find a clear relationship between acculturation measures, exposure to the US, and obesity-related behaviors (diet and exercise). However, the acculturation measures do not clearly account for the link between adult obesity, immigrant duration and generation, and race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-310
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • Acculturation
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Immigration
  • Mexican
  • Obesity
  • USA


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