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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Apr;9(4):1201-15. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9041201. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Impact of Hispanic ethnic concentration and socioeconomic status on obesity prevalence in Texas counties.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas Houston Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA.


The purpose of this study is to determine whether Hispanic ethnic concentration is associated with a higher prevalence of obesity and, if this relationship exists, whether it is affected by the socioeconomic environment. The study uses the Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) linked to 2000 census data to access the relationship between prevalence of obesity, Hispanic ethnic concentration, poverty and level of education at a county-level. The findings suggest that the association of Hispanic ethnic concentration and obesity varies by socioeconomic environment. Although little influence was observed for % poverty, the relationship between Hispanic ethnic concentration and obesity differed by county-level educational attainment. High proportion of residents with a bachelor's degree is associated with a low prevalence of obesity; counties with both high % Hispanic and high % with Bachelor's degrees had the lowest prevalence of obesity. Our results suggest that promoting and improving education, perhaps including training on healthful living, may serve as an effective means of curbing current obesity trends and associated health problems in Hispanic and possibly other ethnic communities.


Hispanic; county; education; obesity; poverty

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