A Moving Paradox: A Binational View of Obesity and Residential Mobility

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This paper takes a unique approach to the study of immigrant and native health differentials by addressing the role of internal as well as international mobility and considering the binational context in which such moves occur. The analyses take advantage of a unique dataset of urban residents in Mexico and the United States to compare Mexican origin immigrants and US-born Spanish-speaking residents in one urban setting in the United States and residents in a similar urban setting in Mexico. The binational approach allows for the test of standard indicators used to proxy acculturation (duration of residence in the United States, household language use) and measures of residential mobility among Mexican-Americans, Mexican immigrants and residents in Mexico. The results confirm a lower prevalence of obesity among Mexicans in Mexico and recent immigrants to the United States when compared to longer residents in the United States. However, for Mexican urban residents, more residential moves are associated with less obesity, while more residential mobility is associated with higher obesity in the urban sample in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 22 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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