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Short Relative Leg Length Is Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Mexican Immigrant Women (International Journal for Equity in Health)

Publication Topics

Obesity/Overweight; Chronic Condition Prevalence; Women; Hispanic/Latino

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


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<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1631&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1631&RootFolder=*">Mireya Vilar-Compte</a>

Author 2

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1194&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1194&RootFolder=*">James Macinko, Ph.D.</a>

Author 3

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=151&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=151&RootFolder=*">et al</a>

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​Prior research suggests that undernutrition and enteric infections predispose children to stunted growth. Undernutrition and infections have been associated with limited access to healthy diets, lack of sanitation, and access barriers to healthcare ― all associated with human rights. Stunting has also been documented to be a major determinant of subsequent obesity and non-communicable diseases. Short leg length relative to stature during adulthood seems to be a good proxy indicator tracking such barriers, and has been reported to be associated with adverse health effects during adulthood. The objective of the study was to examine the association between relative leg length (as measured by the leg length index, LLI) and measures of adiposity  based on body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) ― in a population of recent Mexican immigrant women to the New York City Area. 

The study analysis was based on a cross-sectional survey of 200 Mexican immigrant women aged 18 to 70 years, whose data were collected between April and November 2008; although for purposes of the current study the sample was restricted to those aged 18 to 59 years. The dependent variables were BMI and WC, both transformed into categorical variables. The main independent variable was LLI, and other correlates were controlled for (i.e. age, education, having had children, characteristics of the community of origin, acculturation, chronic conditions, sedentary behaviors, access to fresh fruits and vegetables). Two probit models were estimated: the first one analyzed the effect of LLI on BMI categories and the second one estimated the effect of LLI on WC.

The probit assessing the effect of LLI on overweight/obesity suggested that having a short LLI increased the probability of overweight/obesity by 21 percentage points. Results from the probit model estimating the effect of LLI on WC indicated that having a short LLI increased the probability of having abdominal adiposity by 39 percentage points. Both results were statistically significant at p < 0.05.


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Journal Article: Short Relative Leg Length Is Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Mexican Immigrant Women

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Press Release

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Created at 9/10/2019 10:51 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|bhan
Last modified at 9/12/2019 2:44 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste