BACKGROUND: This study aims to determine: (i) information on overweight and obesity, represented by body mass index using measured anthropometric data, among refugees living in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, (ii) how body mass index changed throughout the migratory journey to Germany, and (iii) factors influencing body mass index.; METHODS: The study utilizes data from the FlueGe health study, a cross-sectional study conducted by Bielefeld University. The data was collected between February and November 2018 in which participants were recruited in several cities in North Rhine-Westphalia (N=326). We analyzed differences in body mass index before the escape, upon arrival, and since arrival as well as correlations between body mass index since arrival and explanatory variables using linear regression models.; RESULTS: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity beforethe escape (t0), upon arrival (t1) and since arrival (t2) were 55.2% (150/272), 45.6% (133/292) and 54.8% (171/312), respectively, with 16.2% (44/272), 12.0% (35/292) and 16.0% (50/312) being obese. There was a significant change between t0 and t1 (p<0.001), and between t1 and t2 (p<0.001), but no change over time (between t0 and t2, p=0.713). Results from multivariate linear regression showed that high education, male sex, higher body mass index before the escape, Iranian or Iraqi nationality, and sobriety were the significant factors for body mass index since arrival. However, when focusing on those who have reported weight gain only, higher body mass index before the escape, male sex, and Iraqi nationality were the significant factors.; CONCLUSIONS: Overweight and obesity were common among refugees after settlement in Germany. In particular, sociodemographic factors were associated with a higher body mass index since arrival. Thus, it is important to develop and apply nutrition-related intervention programs for adult refugees that are culturally appropriate and tailored to education level and sex. © 2021. The Author(s).
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