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ERIC Number: EJ846955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0270-1367
Overweight and Its Relationship to Middle Eastern American College Students' Sociodemographics and Physical Activity
Kahan, David
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, v78 n3 p248-256 Jun 2007
Overweight and obesity plague American society and their burden is shared disproportionately by minorities at all age levels. The ramifications of overweight are well documented and include chronic morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer. Immigrants, who comprise 11% of the U.S. population and are a greater proportion of this country's minority population, experience significant increases in body mass index (BMI) after 10 years of residency in the United States; after 15 years, their prevalence of obesity resembles that of U.S.-born adults. There is concern that the increased risk of morbidity is in part attributable to immigrants incorporating more of the health-damaging behaviors associated with the native population. Epidemiologists Read, Amick, and Donato stated that "Americans of Arab descent are a population of increasing size and importance". In California, where this study was conducted, a 34% population increase of those identifying an Arabic speaking ancestry was noted between the 1990 and 2000 census. With few exceptions, the prevalence of morbidities in Arab Americans is higher than other minority groups and non-Arab Whites. Arab American women displayed higher triglyceride and lower high density lipoprotein levels than African and Caucasian Americans. In earlier studies, a high prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and overweight/obesity and a higher prevalence of diabetes in Arab Americans with lower levels of acculturation were noted. Fifth-grade Arab American youth living in Michigan showed lower prevalence of overweight (27.5% vs. 31.2%) and higher prevalence of obesity (16.5% vs. 15.8%) compared to U.S. prevalence estimates. Because of the relative lack of data on Middle Easterners' morbidity despite their growing number and influence and because most published research has been conducted in a geographically limited area of the United States, the present study was conceptualized. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to quantify the occurrence of overweight/obesity and its sociodemographic and physical activity correlates among Arab American/Middle Eastern college students. (Contains 3 tables.)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California