Obesity and Regional Immigrant Density

Brief Communication


Canada has an increasingly large immigrant population. Areas of higher immigrant density, may relate to immigrants’ health through reduced acculturation to Western foods, greater access to cultural foods, and/or promotion of salubrious values/practices. It is unclear, however, whether an association exists between Canada-wide regional immigrant density and obesity among immigrants. Thus, we examined whether regional immigrant density was related to obesity, among immigrants. Adult immigrant respondents (n = 15,595) to a national population-level health survey were merged with region-level immigrant density data. Multi-level logistic regression was used to model the odds of obesity associated with increased immigrant density. The prevalence of obesity among the analytic sample was 16%. Increasing regional immigrant density was associated with lower odds of obesity among minority immigrants and long-term white immigrants. Immigrant density at the region-level in Canada may be an important contextual factor to consider when examining obesity among immigrants.


Immigrant density Obesity Canada Immigrants 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Research involving human participants was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of British Columbia and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Access to and analyses of the data were performed under the approval of the University of British Columbia’s clause concerning use of public datasets (Policy #89: Research Involving Human Participants).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from participants included in the Statistics Canada datasets.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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