Amerindians and the price of modernisation

K. M. Weiss, A. V. Buchanan, R. Valdez, J. H. Moore, J. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Amerindian and genetically related populations in North America currently are affected by a pandemic of obesity, diabetes, and gallbladder disease. This has arisen in just the past 40-50 yr; the conditions were previously rare in Amerindian populations. The rapid development of the pandemic thus implicates changes in lifestyle, very likely involving dietary patterns such as excess calories or newly adopted foodstuffs, which have occurred on a continental scale. "Urbanisation', even in small settlements, seems to be associated with dramatically increased risk. The evidence also suggests that the conditions have a genetic basis. This paper reviews some evidence, and presents new supportive results from studies in Mexican Mayan and Mvskoke Creek Amerindians. No gene or genes that are responsible and would prove the syndrome hypothesis have yet been identified. It describes the epidemiology of the components of the syndrome in Amerindians in general, and presents new data from two exploratory studies of the New World syndrome. A genetic model that may help to formulate analytic strategies with which to attack this problem is suggested. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-243
Number of pages23
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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