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28.09.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2019

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 4/2019

Perceived Discrimination, Screen Use, and BMI Among Rural-to-Urban Migrant Children in China: Evidence from a Nutrition Transition Context

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health > Ausgabe 4/2019
Miao Li, Sarah Mustillo, Weidong Wang
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10903-018-0822-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Discrimination promotes sedentary behavior and obesity among Western adults. The obesogenic impact of discrimination has yet been examined in developing countries. Participants were 1755 seventh grade rural-to-urban migrant students in the first three waves (2013–2016) of China Education Panel Survey—Junior High Cohort. Latent growth curve models evaluated associations of perceived origin-based discrimination with intercepts and slopes for BMI and screen use trajectories over a 3-year period. Most migrant students came from families of low socioeconomic status. Around 20% of the migrant students reported origin-based discrimination at school. After adjusting for covariates, origin-based discrimination was positively associated with intercepts of TV watching (b = 0.18, p < .001) and internet use (b = 0.24, p < .001), but was not associated with either the intercept or slope of BMI. Perceived discrimination increases screen use for Chinese migrant children, though its contribution to BMI growth is unclear. As the nutrition transition penetrates deeper into lives of all social strata, future studies need to monitor whether perceived discrimination may emerge as an important source of social disparity in obesity in China.

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