Previous studies have sought to associate the Pro12Ala variant of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma2 (PPARG2) gene with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity, with controversial results. We have determined the Pro12Ala variant frequency in 370 nondiabetic Mexican Mestizo subjects and in five Mexican Amerindian groups and have investigated its possible association with lipid metabolism, insulin serum levels, and obesity in three of these populations. Two independent case-control studies were conducted in 239 nondiabetic individuals: 135 case subjects (BMI > or = 25 kg/m2) and 104 control subjects (BMI < 25 kg/m2). The PPARG2 Ala12 allele frequency was higher in most Amerindian populations (0.17 in Yaquis, 0.16 in Mazahuas, 0.16 in Mayans, and 0.20 in Triquis) than in Asians, African Americans, and Caucasians. The Pro12Ala and Ala12Ala (X12Ala) genotypes were significantly associated with greater BMI in Mexican Mestizos and in two Amerindian groups. X12Ala individuals had a higher risk of overweight or obesity than noncarriers in Mestizos (OR = 3.67; 95% CI, 1.42-9.48; p = 0.007) and in Yaquis plus Mazahuas (OR = 3.21; 95% CI, 1.27-8.11; p = 0.013). Our results provide further support of the association between the PPARG2 Ala12 allele and risk of overweight or obesity in Mestizos and two Amerindian populations from Mexico.