Overweight and Stunting in Migrant Hispanic Children in the USA

Posted: 30 Mar 2006

See all articles by Diane Markowitz

Diane Markowitz

Rowan University - Department of Geography and Anthropology


In order to evaluate the need for preventive interventions to improve nutrition, the BMI/sex/age percentile, height/sex/age percentile, prevalence of stunting, at-risk-for-overweight and overweight in a group of migrant Hispanic children, aged 2-18, in southern New Jersey, USA, was assessed using anthropometric measurements of height, weight and skinfold thickness with reference to the NHANES 1999-2000. Results showed that the frequency of overweight in this sample - 20% - exceeds that of the general U.S. pediatric population and equals or exceeds (in 2-5-year olds) that of settled Mexican-Americans. Being born in the U.S. significantly diminished the prevalence of stunting, especially in boys. The children of migrant Hispanic agricultural workers belong to a marginalized, poor and insecure population who are not included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination studies, because of their transience. This is the first anthropometric study to evaluate growth in this population in over 20 years.

Keywords: Migrants, Agricultural laborers, Children, Economic deprivation, Obesity; Stunting, Height

JEL Classification: D6

Suggested Citation

Markowitz, Diane, Overweight and Stunting in Migrant Hispanic Children in the USA. Economics & Human Biology, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 215-240, July 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=893923

Diane Markowitz (Contact Author)

Rowan University - Department of Geography and Anthropology ( email )

Robinson Hall, 3rd Floor
Glassboro, NJ 08028
United States
856-256-4500 ext. 3981 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rowan.edu/open/geo_anthro/faculty/markowitz.html

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