Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in Mexican-Americans

This article examines the influence of socioeconomic status on obesity among the Mexican-American community. A study was conducted along the United States-Mexico border town Brownsville, Texas to track the obesity rates in citizens. The study was conducted to observe whether obesity was related to socio-economic status. Data was collected from 810 people in the area. The sampling used census data to find a diverse variety of participants for the study in terms of socio-economic status. The census used 4 tracts and divided them into 4 strata that classified income. Sampling was then retrieved from the first (lowest) and third socioeconomic strata. The median household income was $17,830 for the lower socioeconomic strata and $31,747 for the higher socioeconomic strata. The study conducted to observe obesity among the recipients with measurements of BMI, waist circumference, insulin levels and blood glucose.

GIS was used in this experiment through census data and geocoding of the houses of the recipients of the study. GIS was also used to visualize the distribution of income among households and the density of where samples were derived.  Maps were then formed with this data.

The studies showed that more than half of the participants were morbidly obese and did not show a variation between both socioeconomic strata. The most significance difference between the socioeconomic strata was the amount of undiagnosed diabetes. 1 in 10 of the participants had diabetes that they were unaware of in the lower socioeconomic strata. When the first strata was compared with the fourth strata(highest socioeconomic status), results showed that there diabetes was among 20% of the lower SES and only 10% in the higher SES. Additionally, diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes was more prevalent among people aged 55 to 64 in the lower SES.
In conclusion, the study showed that obesity did not vary between strata; however, diabetes was significantly more prevalent among lower people with lower socioeconomic status. This information is important because it brings attention to the rate of diabetes in this specific area and represents a group of people that likely have little or no access to healthcare.

AR, Salinas JJ, et al. "Socioeconomic Status and Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in a Mexican American Community, Cameron County, Texas, 2004-2007." Center for Disease Control and Prevention 7 (2010).

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good article with a great look a major problem with the Hispanic community in Texas especially in the valley. But their are some areas to consider that would have helped the study. Such as doing a more rigorous look at the BMI because that can sometimes be thrown off by things such as muscles mass. Their could also be a possibility that healthcare access is limited in the area because of other things such smaller populations relative to Houston and Dallas.