Segmented Assimilation: An Approach to Studying Acculturation and Obesity Among Latino Adults in the United States

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Segmented assimilation theory posits that immigrants experience distinct paths of assimilation. Using cluster analysis and data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey, this study sought to apply this theory in relation to obesity among Latinos. Four clusters emerged: a “second-generation classic,” a “third-generation classic,” an “underclass,” and a “segmented assimilation” pattern. In analyses controlling for sociodemographic confounders (eg, age), second-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 2.70, 95% confidence interval = 1.47-4.93) relative to the segmented pattern. Similarly, third-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 3.23, 95% confidence interval = 1.74-6.01) compared with segmented assimilation individuals.

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