, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 1116-1124
Date: 13 Apr 2011

Acculturation, Body Perception, and Weight Status Among Vietnamese American Students

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Abstract

The effects of acculturation, body perception, and health behaviors on weight status among Vietnamese American students in Houston, Texas were examined for our research. A survey was mailed to 600 randomly selected Vietnamese American students at one university, and 261 complete surveys (response rate, 43.5%) were used for final analyses. Respondents were classified as overweight or normal weight based on the World Health Organization recommended overweight cutoff for Asians (BMI of 23 kg/m2). About 32% of respondents were overweight. Men, undergraduate students, and those with an acceptable body perception were more likely to be overweight. Nativity and its interaction with length of US residence were significant predictors of weight status after controlling for other variables. Foreign-born respondents were less likely to be overweight than US-born respondents, but the risk of being overweight with increasing years of US residence was much greater for the foreign-born than for the US-born. The results suggest the need for culturally tailored overweight and obesity prevention programs for Vietnamese Americans.