Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4094876, 9 pages
Research Article

Metabolic Health Has Greater Impact on Diabetes than Simple Overweight/Obesity in Mexican Americans

1Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Laredo Campus, Laredo, TX 78045, USA
2Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Brownsville Campus, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA

Received 12 August 2015; Revised 13 October 2015; Accepted 15 October 2015

Academic Editor: Ed Randell

Copyright © 2016 Shenghui Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To compare the risk for diabetes in each of 4 categories of metabolic health and BMI. Methods. Participants were drawn from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, a randomly selected Mexican American cohort in Texas on the US-Mexico border. Subjects were divided into 4 phenotypes according to metabolic health and BMI: metabolically healthy normal weight, metabolically healthy overweight/obese, metabolically unhealthy normal weight, and metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese. Metabolic health was defined as having less than 2 metabolic abnormalities. Overweight/obese status was assessed by BMI higher than 25 kg/m2. Diabetes was defined by the 2010 ADA definition or by being on a diabetic medication. Results. The odds ratio for diabetes risk was 2.25 in the metabolically healthy overweight/obese phenotype (95% CI 1.34, 3.79), 3.78 (1.57, 9.09) in the metabolically unhealthy normal weight phenotype, and 5.39 (3.16, 9.20) in metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese phenotype after adjusting for confounding factors compared with the metabolically healthy normal weight phenotype. Conclusions. Metabolic health had a greater effect on the increased risk for diabetes than overweight/obesity. Greater focus on metabolic health might be a more effective target for prevention and control of diabetes than emphasis on weight loss alone.