The environment as well as economic status, race and culture can potentially have an impact on obesity rates across the world. In the United States, Mexican-American people tend to be at a higher risk to have diabetes and become obese. In 2004, a case study similar to the Framingham cohort was conducted in the border town of Brownsville, Texas to test if economic advantages or disadvantages had an impact on obesity. Due to its proximity to the border and strong Hispanic culture, Brownsville was selected for the location of this study and it became known as the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort.
The 2,000 participants were divided according to their annual income and categorized as “higher SES” or “lower SES”. People were also divided into clusters based off of where they lived. Each participant was measured and weighed so that their BMI could be calculated as well as their waist circumference. Blood samples were taken from each person as well. The “wealthiest” 202 participants as well as the “poorest” 202 participants were compared with age and gender also being another factor included. However, the majority of people that participated were women. It was noted that age had a strong influence on whether or not a person had diabetes with people over the age of 55 at a much higher risk. This was especially prevalent in the lower SES. In addition, it was found that about ten percent of higher income people had diabetes and about twenty one percent of the lower income people had diabetes. Overall, the vast majority of people that were used in this study did not have access to health care and in general the overall health of much of the Mexican American people in this sample was poor. This suggests that genetics, age and economic status are correlated with health.
Fisher-Hoch, S. P., Rentfro, A. R., Wilson, J. G., Salinas, J. J., Reininger, B. M., Restrepo, B. I., ... & Hanis, C. M. (2010). Peer Reviewed: Socioeconomic Status and Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in a Mexican American Community, Cameron County, Texas, 2004-2007. Preventing chronic disease,7(3).