Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Services


Mary L. Gutierrez


Racial/ethnic groups are disproportionately affected by obesity and other risk factors for chronic diseases. African immigrants are an increasing segment of the U.S. population at greater risk for obesity than other immigrants living in the United States. Public health organizations that aid immigrants could benefit from information about changing dietary patterns. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between dietary acculturation and obesity among African immigrant adults living in the United States, controlling for length of stay, English proficiency, region of residence, and other sociodemographic factors. Acculturation theory guided this study. The research design was quantitative cross-sectional with secondary data from 798 adult immigrants of African origin who completed the New Immigrant Survey. Forward stepwise logistic regression analyses indicated that when controlling for sociodemographic factors, dietary acculturation was a significant predictor of obesity. Language proficiency, income, marital status, childhood living environment, and age were statistically significant predictors of obesity. Findings may be used by clinicians, dieticians, and other health care professionals to develop obesity prevention and control strategies that specifically serve African immigrants to prevent obesity and its associated deadly complications.