UM graduate to receive first prize in global health conference for study on health of Filipina migrant workers in Macao

Huang Lei (right)

Huang Lei, a fresh graduate from the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), University of Macau (UM), will receive a first prize in the undergraduate student poster contest of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Global Health Conference to be held in Hong Kong, for her poster that presents a study examining the spatial and sociodemographic correlates of the weight status among Filipina migrant workers in Macao.

The winning paper is titled ‘Fast Food Restaurant Density and Weight Status: A Spatial Analysis among Filipina Migrant Workers in Macao (SAR), People’s Republic of China’. The study collected data from nearly 4,000 Filipina migrant workers in Macao, including the participants’ demographic characteristics, health-related behaviours, height, weight, and body fat percentage. The study has found that nearly 65 per cent of the participants are either overweight or obese and that the increased density of fast food restaurants has been associated with the unhealthy weight status of female migrant workers in Macao. The study suggests that health interventions to improve diet and physical activity should be promoted among this population.

Huang’s poster is based on a migrant health study she was involved in as an undergraduate research assistant in the Global and Community Mental Health Research Group of the FSS. During the time, she and Prof Brian Hall, director of the research group, co-wrote three papers, which have been published in journals included in the Social Sciences Citation Index. During her undergraduate studies, Huang received the Henry Fok Foundation Scholarship for three consecutive years and was awarded the Jorge Alvares Foundation Academic Prize for her outstanding academic achievements.

The upcoming conference will be held at the University of Hong Kong. It is expected to provide a platform for scholars, policymakers, and industry practitioners from different backgrounds to address health challenges facing city dwellers.

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