The obesity problem is growing and requires continuing research to determine its causes and consequences. The authors of the article “The Influence of Immigrant Generation on Obesity among Asian Americans in California from 2013 to 2014” examined obesity in Asian Americans and California adults. The findings of this study are valuable for creating obesity risk profiles among Asian Americans. Additionally, the authors contributed meaningfully to the study of the migration factor that may impact the development of obesity. They determined that compared to Americans, immigrants have higher rates of obesity. The article indicated that second and third-generation migrants tend to be more obese than first generation (Gong et al., 2019). Therefore, obesity rates increase in proportion to the time that Asians have been living in the United States.
It is significant to emphasize that the authors of this article used the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), an annual telephone examination of Americans’ health. It enables researchers to include large ethnic groups of Asian Americans in this study. Thus, the research involved ethnic Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Japanese. The article used three variables: obesity, generational status, and covariates. The outcomes of the CHIS conducted in 2013-2014 by Gong et al. (2019) are grouped by these variables. The Wald Chi-square criterion was applied to examine categorical variables. The researchers then used analysis of variance to compare continuous variables between ethnic groups. Meanwhile, the authors applied a logistic regression model to compare obesity levels between Americans and Asian Americans. Gong et al. (2019) explored changes in obesity rates among Asian Americans through multiple logistic regression analyses.
Strengths of the Study
The strengths of the research are the method by which the sample of Asian Americans was formed. Accordingly, the authors excluded those people from the selection who did not identify as Americans but indicated that they belonged to another ethnic community. Therefore, the participants in the study adapted their lifestyle to that of Americans, which provides more valid outcomes (Gong et al., 2019). Another advantage is that the CHIS is administered in different languages to obtain accurate data. Furthermore, the use of variable covariates allowed Gong et al. (2019) to investigate the influence of significant factors that contribute to obesity. For instance, the authors asked about unhealthy habits, income level, education, health, and physical activity level. This permitted them to accurately estimate how the Asian Americans’ standard of living variable affected obesity rates and compare it to Americans.
Weaknesses and Limitations of the Research
A significant limitation of the study is that the authors only had access to the CHIS public file. Consequently, they could not obtain data on the national origins of the participants’ parents. Another weakness of the research is the exclusion of homeless people and individuals living in shelters from the survey. Moreover, the sample size of Asians does not provide important information about Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese. Hence, the Chinese have become the dominant category of the population to receive the data. Accordingly, the influence on the statistics of other Asians was minor (Gong et al., 2019). Therefore, the limitation of the study is that the findings are valid only for California instead of the whole U.S. population.
It is valuable to note that the authors collected sufficient data and chose relational methods to identify the correlation between the obesity of Asian Americans and Asian Americans in California. Meanwhile, the researchers contributed significantly to the research field and examined the important topic of obesity in Asian Americans depending on the generation. Nevertheless, I consider the study needs to be expanded in scope; it should be conducted at the national level. Thus, a modification of the research methods and the inclusion of a new definition of a confounder are essential (Tennant et al., 2021). This would involve more instrumental variables, d-divisions, and Directed Acyclic Graphs.
Gong, S., Wang, K., Li, Y., & Alamian, A. (2019). The influence of immigrant generation on obesity among Asian Americans in California from 2013 to 2014. PloS One, 14(2), e0212740.
Tennant, P. W., Murray, E. J., Arnold, K. F., Berrie, L., Fox, M. P., Gadd, S. C., & Ellison, G. T. (2021). Use of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) to identify confounders in applied health research: Review and recommendations. International Journal of Epidemiology, 50(2), 620-632.