Is there a relationship between English language proficiency and the likelihood of being obese among Latino adults who live in the United States?
Caton, Mirlinda Qerama.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Obesity rates have increased dramatically in the last two decades placing the United States' population at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. While most studies identify genetics, environment and behavior as contributing factors and encourage policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity, additional factors may also be important. English proficiency has been shown to affect management of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. This study examines the possibility of it affecting management of another chronic disease such as obesity. This research looks at the relationship between English proficiency and being obese among Latino adults age 20 and older, controlling for length of time in the U.S., education, income, age, gender, self-reported health and insurance coverage.; Data on Latino adults age 20 and older are obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008, which combined interviews and examinations. Results indicate a different relationship for adults in income groups above and below the poverty level. In general, the limited English proficient adults with incomes above the poverty level are less likely to be obese than English proficient adults with incomes in this range, controlling for other factors, although one income range (200% to less than 300% of poverty level) did not have statistically significant results. In contrast, for adults with income below the poverty level, having difficulty with the English language was not related to the likelihood of being obese.; Future research should look at additional factors that may contribute to the differences in the likelihood of being obese for people with different income levels in order to inform solid strategies in preventing obesity.
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