Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

East Tennessee Alumna Publishes on Obesity Prevalence

Dr. Shaoqing Gong, alumna of the DrPH in epidemiology program in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, has authored an article in Scientific Reports.  The article, “Geographic differences in obesity prevalence and its risk factors among Asian Americans: findings from the 2013–2014 California Health Interview Survey” examines geography disparities in obesity among Asians in California.

Drs. Kesheng Wang and Arsham Alamian of the department of biostatistics and epidemiology, and Dr. Ying Li of the department of environmental health, are co-authors.

Geographic disparities exist in obesity and obesity related conditions. Despite some evidence for rural and urban differences in obesity using national data (e.g., NHANES, YRBSS, and NHIS), these surveys may ignore differences in Asian-American racial/ethnic groups. The present study contributes to the limited literature regarding geographic disparities in obesity among Asian Americans.

The researchers examined data (n = 4,000) from the 2013–2014 California Health Interview Survey. Obesity was defined according to the World Health Organization Asian body mass index cut points in Asian groups.  They found higher obesity prevalence in urban Vietnamese than in rural counterparts. Overall, younger age, being male, being Japanese, Filipino, or other Asians (vs. Chinese) were associated with higher prevalence of obesity. After being stratified by urban and nonurban areas, the researchers also observed a different number of risk factors of obesity among Asian Americans in California.

Scientific Reports is an online, open access journal from the publishers of Nature. It publishes scientifically valid primary research from all areas of the natural and clinical sciences.