Obesity in Mexican American subgroups: Findings from the San Antonio heart study

H. P. Hazuda, B. D. Mitchell, S. M. Haffner, M. P. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This study describes the prevalence of overweight in 2013 Mexican Americans and 928 non-Hispanic whites, aged 25-65 y, who participated in phase 2 of the San Antonio Heart Study, 1984-1988, and examines differences in overall obesity and body fat distribution among diverse Mexican American subgroups defined by neighborhood, socioeconomic status (SES), and assimilation to mainstream US society. Prevalence of overweight was greater in Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic whites, and the ethnic difference was greater in women than in men. In Mexican Americans the effects of SES and assimilation on overall obesity and body fat distribution differed by sex group. In men SES and cultural assimilation were associated with less favorable body fat distribution. In women SES and assimilation were associated with lower overall obesity and more favorable body fat distribution. Interventions to reduce obesity in Mexican Americans should take these subgroup differences into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529S-1534S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • Body fat distribution
  • Cultural assimilation
  • Ethnic groups
  • Mexican American
  • Obesity
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Structural assimilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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