Mexicans, fattest people on planet, at genetic risk for diabetes?

It was recently discovered that Mexicans and other Latin Americans (i.e. Mestizos & Amerindians) are at a high genetic risk for type 2 diabetes.   From paper “Sequence variants in SLC16A11 are a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes in Mexico“:

Here we analysed 9.2 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in each of 8,214 Mexicans and other Latin Americans: 3,848 with type 2 diabetes and 4,366 non-diabetic controls. In addition to replicating previous findings2, 3, 4, we identified a novel locus associated with type 2 diabetes at genome-wide significance spanning the solute carriers SLC16A11 and SLC16A13 (P = 3.9 × 10−13; odds ratio (OR) = 1.29). The association was stronger in younger, leaner people with type 2 diabetes, and replicated in independent samples (P = 1.1 × 10−4; OR = 1.20). The risk haplotype carries four amino acid substitutions, all in SLC16A11; it is present at ~50% frequency in Native American samples and ~10% in east Asian, but is rare in European and African samples. Analysis of an archaic genome sequence indicated that the risk haplotype introgressed into modern humans via admixture with Neanderthals

The racial breakdown of Mexicans is as follows:

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Mexico is:
60% mestizo
30% Amerindian
Less than 10% European (mostly Spaniard)

And what is the ancestry of mestizos? Examining genetic ancestral markers, Rubén Lisker found the average admixture of a lower-income mestizos in Mexico City to be:

59% Amerindian
34% European [mostly Spaniard]
and 6% black

As noted by above abstract, it is believed that this genetic disposition was inherited from Neanderthals.  All non-Africans have Neanderthal genes, and different non-African racial groups do not have the same Neanderthal genes.   This gene for type 2 diabetes seems to be predominant among the Amerindians of the New World (hence the high risk for Mexico, which is 90% Amerindian/Mestizo).   Perhaps Europeans and North Asians had this gene at one point but then lost it through 10,000 years of agriculture?

What can Mexicans (mestizos/Amerindians) do to combat this disposition?  Well, for starters, find a new cuisine, as Mexicans are now the fattest people on the planet.  As many health experts have recently noted, Mexican food might well be unhealthiest food around today.

Related:

Benefits of Hybrid Vigor Overstated

Mexico’s Diabetes Epidemic

95% of White Americans Have No African Ancestry

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9 thoughts on “Mexicans, fattest people on planet, at genetic risk for diabetes?

  1. I had to go to Mexico City on business a couple years ago and it’s unreal how many calories Mexicans consume. A Mexican client took me out on the town one night — after consuming an enormous greasy dinner, he later had multiple beers and cokes, and then topped it off with a “snack” of 5 – 7 tacos.

  2. There were virtually no fat people in Mexico before NAFTA. I know because I spent time there back then. They started getting fat when they started importing American food and American dietary ideas/nonsense. Before NAFTA, their diet was largely based on lard. They also used a lot of sugar, especially in fruit drinks. But their food was natural. In general, the best diet is the exact opposite of whatever American doctors recommend (which makes sense since a good diet cuts into doctor’s revenue). Eat lots of animal fat and meat. Some sugar is fine. Avoid all American low-fat garbage. Mexico needs to stop importing American food and return to its old diet.

    • It’s true that American fast food is garbage and shouldn’t be eaten but this stuff has been imported to Europe and North Asia for decades without the same extreme results. Obviously something more is going on. Besides, according to a recent NPR report I heard, the taco is still the #1 selling food item in Mexico and has been for decades.

      • A taco, by itself, includes many elements of a balanced diet:
        Protein( Meat), B Vitamins, (cilantro, onion) C Vitamins (Tomato, Chile,) and carbohydrates, calcium (tortilla). It is not processed, fresh food is the best. The problem is the sodas and the amounts eaten. Plus, many people live sedentary lives in urban settings. Moderation is the formula here…it should not an eating competition with chamois, saladitos, “conchitas”,etc. Genetically altered food from Monsanto seeds is going to ruin everything….Greed, Greed…

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