Growing Waistlines in the U.S.: Race/Ethnicity, Nativity and Period Trends in Body Mass among U.S. Adults

Patrick M. Krueger, University of Colorado at Denver
Kate Coleman-Minahan, University of Colorado at Denver
Ronica Rooks, University of Colorado at Denver

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse at the same time that the average body mass has increased. But prior research offers little insight into the influence age, calendar period, and birth cohort forces for driving increases in body mass in our racially and ethnically diverse population. We use data from the National Health Interview Survey to examine age, period, and cohort changes in body mass among six different race/ethnic groups in the U.S.: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Asians. We find that calendar period forces are driving increasing body masses among nearly all race/ethnic groups except for Cubans. Further, calendar period increases in body mass are slower among foreign born adults than U.S. born adults for all race/ethnic groups except for Asians.

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Presented in Session 54: Social Determinants of Adult Obesity in the U.S.