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Risk of overweight and obesity among migrants in Switzerland

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2012.48082    3,001 Downloads   5,232 Views   Citations


We assessed the risk of overweight and obesity for six large migrant groups in Switzerland. We used population-based survey data form the Swiss Migrant Health Survey 2010 and the Swiss Health Survey 2007. The sample comprised permanent residents aged 17 - 64 years (n = 14,637). Multivariate logistic regressions have been used to estimate odds ratios (OR). Compared with Swiss nationals, the odds of being obese were 1.97 times higher for Turkish nationals (CI-95 1.26, 3.07), 1.73 times higher for Kosovan nationals (CI-95 1.09, 2.74) and 3.42 times higher for Serbs (CI-95 2.28, 5.12). The chance of being obese was not statistically different between Swiss nationals and those from Portugal, Italy, and Germany. The chance of being overweight or obese (BMI ≥ 25) was higher for migrants than for Swiss nationals. The respective odds were 1.54 times higher for nationals from Portugal (CI-95 1.13, 2.11), 2.05 times higher for those from Turkey (CI-95 1.50, 2.78), 2.67 times higher for those from Serbia (CI-95 1.93, 3.68), 2.68 times higher for those from Kosovo (CI-95 2.01, 3.56), and 2.16 times higher for nationals from Italy (CI-95 1.54, 3.02). We suggest that preventive initiatives should take into account the specific needs of migrants as well as the needs of persons with low education from all nationalities.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Volken, T. and Rüesch, P. (2012) Risk of overweight and obesity among migrants in Switzerland. Health, 4, 514-521. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.48082.


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