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      Variation in mode of physical activity by ethnicity and time since immigration: a cross-sectional analysis

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          Abstract

          Background

          Physical activity (PA) levels are known to be significantly lower in ethnic minority and immigrant groups living in North America and Europe compared to the general population. While there has been an increase in the number of interventions targeting these groups, little is known about their preferred modes of PA.

          Methods

          Using three cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (cycles 1.1, 2.1, 3.1; 2000-2005, n = 400,055) this investigation determined PA preferences by self-ascribed ethnicity (White, South Asian, South-East Asian, Blacks, Latin American, West Asian, Aboriginal persons and Other) and explored variation in PA preference across time since immigration categories (non-immigrant, established immigrant [> 10 years], and recent immigrant [≤ 10 years]). PA preferences over the past three months were collapsed into eight categories: walking, endurance, recreation, sports, conventional exercise, active commuting, and no PA. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds of participating in each PA across ethnicity and time since immigration compared to Whites and non-immigrants, respectively.

          Results

          Compared to Whites, all other ethnic groups were more likely to report no PA and were less likely to engage in walking, with the exception of Aboriginal persons (OR: 1.25, CI: 1.16-1.34). Further, all ethnic groups including Aboriginal persons were less likely to engage in endurance, recreation, and sport activities, but more likely to have an active commute compared to Whites. Recent and established immigrants were more likely to have an active commute and no PA, but a lower likelihood of walking, sports, endurance, and recreation activities than non-immigrants.

          Conclusion

          Ethnic minority groups and immigrants in Canada tend to participate in conventional forms of exercise compared to Whites and non-immigrants and are less likely to engage in endurance exercise, recreation activities, and sports. Health promotion initiatives targeting ethnic and immigrant groups at high-risk for physical inactivity and chronic disease should consider mode of PA preference in intervention development.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada.

          This paper combines multiple cross-sections of data drawn from the National Population Health Survey and Canadian Community Health Survey to confirm the existence of the 'healthy immigrant effect', specifically that immigrants are in relatively better health on arrival in Canada compared to native-born Canadians, and that immigrant health converges with years in Canada to native-born levels. The paper finds robust evidence that the healthy immigrant effect is present for the incidence of chronic conditions for both men and women, and results in relatively slow convergence to native-born levels. There is only weak evidence in terms of self-assessed health status. The inclusion of controls for region of origin and year of arrival does not account for the observed effects, although region of origin is an important determinants of immigrant health. The paper then considers some alternative explanations for the observed differences, and support is found for the idea that the healthy immigrant effect reflects convergence in physical health rather than convergence in screening and detection of existing health problems.
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            The Analysis of Residuals in Cross-Classified Tables

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              The metabolic syndrome in South Asians: epidemiology, determinants, and prevention.

              The prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome is rapidly increasing in India and other south Asian countries, leading to increased morbidity and mortality due to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The literature search has been carried out using the key words "insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk, diabetes, obesity, Asian Indians, and South Asians" in the medical search engine Pubmed (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) from 1966 to September 2009. A high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and associated cardiovascular risk factors has been observed not only in urban South Asian/Asian Indian adults and children but also in economically disadvantaged people residing in urban slums and rural areas. The main drivers are rapid nutrition, lifestyle, and socioeconomic transitions, consequent to increasing affluence, urbanization, mechanization, and rural-to-urban migration. Less investigated determinants of the metabolic syndrome include psychological stress in urban setting, genetic predisposition, adverse perinatal environment, and childhood "catch up" obesity. Data show atherogenic dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, thrombotic tendency, subclinical inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction are higher in South Asians than Caucasians. Many of these manifestations are more severe and are seen at an early age (childhood) in South Asians than Caucasians. Metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk in South Asians is also heightened by their higher body fat, truncal subcutaneous fat, intra-abdominal fat, and ectopic fat deposition (liver fat, etc.). Further, cardiovascular risk cluster manifests at a lower level of adiposity and abdominal obesity. The cutoffs of body mass index and waist circumference for defining obesity and abdominal obesity, respectively, have been lowered and the definition of the metabolic syndrome has been revised for Asian Indians in a recent consensus statement, so that physicians could intervene early with lifestyle management. Data from a major intervention program conducted by us on urban adolescent schoolchildren in north India for prevention of obesity (the MARG project) has shown encouraging results, making it a model for any future intervention program in South Asians. Cardiometabolic risk is high in South Asians, starting at an early age. Increasing awareness of cluster of risk factors and how to prevent them should be emphasized in population-wide prevention strategies in South Asian countries, primarily focusing on children.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
                BioMed Central
                1479-5868
                2010
                14 October 2010
                : 7
                : 75
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology, Acadia University, 550 Main St, Wolfville, NS. B4P-2R6, Canada
                [2 ]School of Kinesiology and Health Science, 117 Bethune College, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada
                [3 ]School of Kinesiology and Health Science, 352 Bethune College, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada
                Article
                1479-5868-7-75
                10.1186/1479-5868-7-75
                2978119
                20946636
                Copyright ©2010 Dogra et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

                Nutrition & Dietetics

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