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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(4):663-70.

Body fatness, physical activity, and nutritional behaviours in Asian Indian immigrants to New Zealand.

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School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Westen Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia.


Body fatness, physical activity, and nutritional behaviours were assessed in 112 (50 male, 62 female) Asian Indians living in New Zealand. Participants were aged 44-91 years (mean 67.5 +/- 7.6) and had lived in New Zealand on average 51 months. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured to determine body mass index (BMI) and central adiposity. Bioelectrical impedance was used to derive fat free mass, fat mass, and percentage body fat. Pedometers were worn to record daily steps taken over each of seven consecutive days. A lifestyle and health questionnaire was administered to collect information on nutrition behaviours. Average BMI for the sample was 27.2 +/- 4.7 kg/m2 with females (28.0 +/- 5.4 kg/m2) significantly higher than males (25.6 +/- 5.4 kg/m2). Using Asian Indian specific cut-offs 69% of the sample was obese (BMI>=25 kg/m2) and a further 13.7% overweight (23>=BMI<25 kg/m2). Average percentage body fat for the sample was 41.1 +/- 9.1 with females significantly higher than males. The majority (74%) reported some form of chronic condition, with 35% diagnosed with diabetes. Physical activity levels for the sample were low (5,977 +/- 3,560 steps/day) and significantly different between males (6,982 +/- 4,426) and females (5,159 +/- 2,401). Higher pedometer steps were associated with lower waist circumference. After adjustment for age, physical activity was lower, but nutritional habits better for those who had spent a longer time in New Zealand. In summary, Asian Indian immigrants to New Zealand have low physical activity levels and high levels of overweight/obesity and lifestyle disease.

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