Table of Contents
ISRN Preventive Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 898691, 12 pages
Research Article

Dramatic Increases in Obesity and Overweight Prevalence among Asian Subgroups in the United States, 1992–2011

1US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 18-41, Rockville, MD 20857, USA
2US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 6A-55, Rockville, MD 20857, USA

Received 16 August 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editors: K. J. Coleman and P. Pagliaro

Copyright © 2013 Gopal K. Singh and Sue C. Lin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined trends in adult obesity and overweight prevalence among major Asian/Pacific Islander (API) subgroups and the non-Hispanic whites from 1992 to 2011. Using 1992–2011 National Health Interview Surveys, obesity, overweight, and BMI differentials were analyzed by logistic, linear, and log-linear regression. Between 1992 and 2011, obesity prevalence doubled for the Chinese, the Asian Indians, the Japanese, and the Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders; and tripled for the Filipinos. Obesity prevalence among API adults tripled from 3.7% in 1992 to 13.3% in 2010, and overweight prevalence doubled from 23.2% to 43.1%. Immigrants in each API subgroup had lower prevalence than their US-born counterparts, with immigrants’ obesity and overweight risks increasing with increasing duration of residence. During 2006–2011, obesity prevalence ranged from 3.3% for Chinese immigrants to 22.3% for the US-born Filipinos and 41.1% for the Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders. The Asian Indians, the Filipinos, and the Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders had, respectively, 3.1, 3.8, and 10.9 times higher odds of obesity than those of the Chinese adults. Compared with Chinese immigrants, the adjusted odds of obesity were 3.5–4.6 times higher for the US-born Chinese and the foreign-born Filipinos, 9 times higher for the US-born Filipinos and whites, 3.8–5.5 times higher for the US-born and foreign-born Asian Indians, and 21.9 times higher for the Native Hawaiians. Substantial ethnic heterogeneity and rising prevalence underscore the need for increased monitoring of obesity and obesity-related risk factors among API subgroups.