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Obesity and upper body fat distribution in Mexican American children from families with a diabetic proband

Obesity and upper body fat distribution in Mexican American children from families with a diabetic proband

American Journal of Human Biology 5(5): 575-585

Upper and centralized body fat distribution is associated with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Few studies have focused on anthropometric characteristics of preadults from families in which there is a diabetic (NIDDM) proband. This study explores the prevalence of upper and centralized body fatness in Mexican American children from the Diabetes Alert study (1981-1983) in Starr County, Texas. Anthropometric data on 165 males and 224 females 9-19 years include measures of adiposity such as skinfold thicknesses and the body mass index (BMI), a measure of overweight. They show rates of obesity two to three times that of White children of comparable age and sex from National Health Surveys. In comparison with U.S. White subjects, Mexican American adults are shorter, have more adiposity and arm muscle mass and have sitting heights and body breadths at the mean of these dimensions for the U.S. Children from Diabetes Alert families show only marginal excess of severe obesity (> 95th percentile of BMI) when compared to the general population of children surveyed in Starr County schools. Girls from these families, but not boys, have excess fatness in the BMI compared to Mexican American children from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES); suprailiac skinfold thicknesses are also greater in children of the Diabetes Alert study than in HHANES children. From 1972 through 1982, Mexican American children in South Texas showed an increase in average stature, weight, and the BMI. These data together suggest that excessive obesity exists and may be increasing in children in populations at risk for NIDDM. The prevention of NIDDM in the Mexican American population may be more effective if educational and promotional interventions include the school aged population. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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Accession: 060035159

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PMID: 28548385

DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.1310050509

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