A new study have revealed that excessive belly fat results in atherosclerosis, which is an early indication of heart disease among Mexican Americans, and this is limited to individuals who were born in the United States. In the study, researchers involved 527 Mexican Americans residing near the U.S.-Mexico border and measured the wall thickness of their carotid arteries with the help of ultrasound. Moreover, researchers also measured participant’s visceral adipose tissue amount or fat deep in the abdomen by utilizing DXA scan, a high-precision X-ray. Researchers informed that visceral fat is linked with atherosclerosis and heart disease, however there is limited research conducted on Hispanic populations.
Researchers observed that Mexican Americans with highest amount of visceral fat exhibited higher thickening of the arteries, however the link was restricted to the participants who were born in the United States. In addition, heart disease is the major cause of death among Hispanic populace in the United States, as U.S.-born Mexican Americans have been habituated to American lifestyle comprising unhealthy, calorie-rich foods and sedentary activities.
Dr. Susan T. Laing stated, "What we found among the Mexican Americans in this cohort was that the second or higher generations generally did not know how to cook and relied more on fast food, compared to their parents who had more traditional values and ate a lot of beans and vegetables. Second-generation Mexican Americans had fewer traditional behaviors that were healthier, whereas first-generation Mexicans who had moved to America held onto their traditional diet. This decreased with each succeeding generation.”