Migrants tend to present higher overweight and obesity levels, but whether this relationship applies to all nationalities has seldom been studied. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity according to nationality in adults.
Participants were separated into Swiss, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish nationals, those from the former Republic of Yugoslavia and from other European and other countries.
Compared with Swiss nationals, German and French nationals presented a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, whereas nationals from Italy, Spain, Portugal and the former Republic of Yugoslavia presented higher levels. Adjusting the SHS data for age, gender, education, smoking, leisure-time physical activity and survey year, a lower risk for overweight and obesity was found for German (OR = 0·80, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·92) and French (OR = 0·74, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·89) nationals, whereas higher risks were found for participants from Italy (OR = 1·45, 95 % CI 1·33, 1·58), Spain (OR = 1·36, 95 % CI 1·15, 1·61), Portugal (OR = 1·25, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·47) and the former Republic of Yugoslavia (OR = 1·98, 95 % CI 1·69, 2·32). Similar findings were observed in the CoLaus Study for Italian (OR = 1·63, 95 % CI 1·29, 2·06), Spanish (OR = 1·54, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·04) and Portuguese (OR = 1·49, 95 % CI 1·16, 1·91) participants and for those from the former Republic of Yugoslavia (OR = 5·34, 95 % CI 3·00, 9·50).