Migrant Networks and Pathways to Child Obesity in Mexico


  • Mathew J. Creighton Princeton University
  • Noreen Goldman
  • Graciela Teruel
  • Luis Rubalcava


The purpose of this research is twofold: 1) to assess the link between migrant networks and becoming overweight or obese and 2) to explore the pathways by which migrant networks may contribute to the increasing overweight and obese population of children in Mexico. Using two waves of the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), we find that children and adolescents (ages 3 to 15) living in households with migrant networks are at an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese over the period of observation relative to their peers with no migrant networks. Sedentary behavior and household-level measures of economic wellbeing explain some of the association between networks and changes in weight status, but the role of extended networks remains significant. Community-level characteristics related to migration do not account for any of the observed relationship between household-level networks and becoming overweight or obese.


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