Latino health; acculturation; macrosomia; maternal health; infant health; obesity


Medicine and Health | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity


A significant body of research on minority health shows that while Latina immigrants experience unexpectedly favorable outcomes in maternal and infant health in the United States, this advantage deteriorates with increased duration of residency. This study assesses the relationship between excessively high birth weight (macrosomia), maternal weight, and length of residency in the United States. A sample of Mexican immigrant women living in two Midwestern communities in the United States is used to analyze the effects of duration in the United States, acculturation on birth outcomes, and maternal overweight once controlling for social, behavioral, and environmental mediators of health status. Results show a significant and positive association between macrosomia and length of residence: the longer duration in the United States, the higher the risk of macrosomia. This study provides evidence the association can be explained by the simultaneous increase in pre-pregnancy maternal weight with increased duration of residence.