Nativity Status/Length of Stay in the US and Excessive Gestational Weight Gain in New York City Teens, 2008–2010

Mary H. Huynh, Luisa N. Borrell, Earle C. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nativity status/length of stay in the US has been found to be associated with obesity. However, little work has examined the role of nativity status/length of stay in excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG) in adolescents. This study utilized New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene birth certificate data in a cross-sectional analysis of 15,715 singleton births to primiparous teen mothers (12–19 years) between 2008 and 2010. Nativity and length of stay in the United States (US) were obtained from birth certificates. EGWG was calculated using weight at delivery and pre-pregnancy weight. Prevalence ratios were calculated through generalized estimating equations to assess the strength of the association between nativity status/length of US residence and EGWG. For US-born teens, 43 % gained more weight than recommended as compared to 32 % for foreign-born teens who have lived in the US for less than 5 years (FB <5 years). Following adjustment for maternal demographics and other factors, US-born teens (adjusted prevalence ratios (APR) (CI) 1.26 [1.18,1.34]), FB 10+ years (APR (CI) 1.17 [1.07,1.28]), and FB 5–10 years (APR (CI) 1.11 [1.01,1.21]) were more likely to have gained weight excessively as compared to FB <5 years. US-born teens and FB teens that have been in the US longer than 5 years are more likely to gain weight excessively during pregnancy as compared to teens with fewer than 5 years in the US. These results identify a critical period when adolescents are in frequent contact with health care providers and can receive counseling regarding healthy weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Gestational weight gain
  • Length of stay in the US
  • Nativity
  • Teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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