Poster Topical Area: Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 427

P10-027 - Gender, ethnic identification and obesity: a prospective study of young people in a British Columbia cohort

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: To investigate the gender-specific longitudinal association between ethnic identification and obesity in young people.

Methods: Prospective study using population-based cohort data on self-reported ethnic identification (Multi-Ethnic Identification Measure), obesity and covariables. Multivariable logistic regression using interaction terms for sex and predictors estimated odds ratios and post-estimation calculated adjusted mean prevalence.

Results: Young men reporting stronger overall ethnic identification had about a 50% greater likelihood of being obese at wave 6 (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.02-2.25]), compared to those with weaker identification. The monotonic association between ethnic identification and adjusted mean obesity prevalence was only seen in young men (Fig 1). Gender-specific findings further differed by ethnic group (Figs 2 & 3) and patterns also depended on the component of ethnic identification examined.

Conclusion: Although ethnic identification may offer protective health-related quality of life effects, there may be more insalubrious effects on other health outcomes such as obesity, and particularly for young men from certain ethnic groups. A greater understanding of the gender-specific role of ethnic identification in the development of obesity would benefit public health efforts to use culture as an obesity intervention among diverse young people



Funding Source: This research was partly funded by the UBC Work Learn Program
Figure 1. Main association of overall ethnic identification and predicted probability of being obese in young men (left panel) and young women (right panel)

Figure 2. Main association of overall ethnic identification and predicted probability of being obese, by Asian ethnicity, in young men (left panel) and young women (right panel)

Figure 3. Figure 2. Main association of overall ethnic identification and predicted probability of being obese, by Aboriginal ethnicity, in young men (left panel) and young women (right panel)

CoAuthors: Alexander Tam – University of British Columbia; Shery Guo – University of British Columbia; Christopher Richardson – University of British Columbia

Annalijn I. Conklin


University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada