Overweight and Stunting in Migrant Hispanic Children in the USA
Posted: 30 Mar 2006
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
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