Date of Conferral





Public Health


Wen-Hung Kuo


Obesity has been identified as a significant risk factor for chronic diseases, contributing to health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations. Though research has identified an increased risk for obesity in the Hispanic immigrant population, there is little or no research on the heterogeneity of obesity predictors in specific immigrant populations in the United States. This study examined the predictors of obesity in the Nigerian immigrant population in the United States. Guided by the social ecological model and the segmented assimilation theory, this cross-sectional study collected primary data from 205 Nigerian immigrants in the United States using the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System self-administered web-based survey. Spearman's correlation and logistic regressions were used to analyze data through SPSS. The results showed no significant relationship between obesity and the factors education, socioeconomic status, length of stay, and level of physical activity. This study, however, identified a significant association between weekly consumption of alcohol and all obesity (OR 1.78, p = .021), and moderate/morbid obesity (OR 2.46, p = .013). There was also a significant association between gender and moderate/morbid obesity (OR 3.30, p = .031). These findings provide strong evidence to inform the development of targeted culturally-relevant community-based interventions for Nigerian immigrant population in the United States, including health education and targeted screenings for alcohol consumption, and other unrecognized behaviors that increase their risk for obesity. The lack of association between other well-known predictors of obesity and obesity outcomes calls for further investigation into other causes of obesity in this immigrant population.