The Population Health M.S.\Ph.D Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Obesity is a progressively increasing public health problem in Latin America. The large impact of obesity on the health of the population results from its high prevalence and its strong association with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases. In spite of the burden of obesity, efforts to quantify its frequency, identify its individual and population determinants, and establish its impact on the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Latin America have been limited.

The goal of the Latin American Studies Consortium in Obesity (LASO) is to generate a framework to stimulate and strengthen the level of communication, knowledge transfer, and data sharing among investigators with interest in Latin America. LASO’s purpose is to efficiently contribute to the characterization of the frequency and determinants of obesity and its association with cardiovascular diseases in the Latin American population.
LASO’s main strategy is the systematic integration of data from population studies of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in Latin America. Pooling studies from different countries and populations will allow us to obtain updated and precise estimates of the prevalence of obesity, its determinants and its impact on population health. This will be helpful in designing and proposing effective prevention strategies.


– To determine the prevalence and distribution of obesity by sociodemographic characteristics in the Latin American population.

– Identify ethnic, socioeconomic, nutritional and behavioral factors associated with the incidence of obesity:

– Estimate the strength of the association between obesity and classical cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes in the Latin American population.

– Establish what measures of obesity (i.e. body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio) best predict the risk of cardiovascular disease in the Latin American population.