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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2015, Article ID 186276, 8 pages
Research Article

Is Acculturation Related to Obesity in Hispanic/Latino Adults? Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

1Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
2Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University and the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
3Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center, Department of Biostatistics, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
4Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
5Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20817, USA
6Institute for Minority Health Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
7Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
8Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60126, USA
9The Behavioral Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA

Received 19 August 2014; Accepted 11 March 2015

Academic Editor: Denis Richard

Copyright © 2015 Carmen R. Isasi et al. 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.


Background. The study examined the association of obesity with acculturation in a large and diverse sample of US Hispanic/Latino adults. Methods. The Hispanic Community Health Study (HCHS)/Study of Latinos (SOL) is a community-based cohort study of Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18–74 years () from four urban areas. Height and weight were directly measured using a standardized protocol. Acculturation was assessed by the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (SASH). Other immigration related variables included place of birth, length of residency in the US, and age at immigration. Odds ratios were calculated to assess the association of overweight, moderate obesity, and extreme obesity ( kg/m2) with acculturation and sociodemographic variables. Results. The prevalence of obesity was 42.4% for women and 36.5% for men and varied by field center and Hispanic/Latino background. The strongest predictor of moderate and extreme obesity was length of residency in mainland US. This association was consistent across Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. Acculturation was not significantly associated with obesity. Discussion. The burden of obesity is high among Hispanic/Latino adults. The study findings suggest that prolonged exposure to the environments in these communities, rather than acculturation, is an important risk factor for obesity in this population.