The Health Equity quiz did not go as good as I thought it would. I thought I knew a lot of the answers but I did not even know half of them. I was VERY shocked with the first question which was “How does American Life Expectancy compare to that of other countries?” I thought that the U.S. would be number 1 for life expectancy since we have a lot of resources at our advantage compared to a lot of other countries. However, it turns out that Japan has the highest life expectancy.
The “Unnatural Causes” episode that I picked was “Bad Sugar.” The video was about how Pima Indians have a 38% susceptibility to Type II Diabetes. There is research being done on this claim. However, scientists have actually come to believe that it is something in the biology of Pima Indians that stands out from others races of people. There was a famine long ago where the Pima Indians were the people who survived it the most during that time. This is because Pima Indians are somehow able to store more fat and for longer periods of time than other races. Therefore, since there is more access to food and the famine is now over, Pima Indians are storing more fat because now they have access to food. Scientists are claiming that Pima Indians were naturally selected during the time of the famine and storing fat will eventually turn into obesity and the obesity leads to Type II Diabetes.
In the video, they also show how some of the Pima Indians live. Most of the Pima Indians live below the poverty line which can also be a factor of why Type II Diabetes is so high. As your can see, politics and economics kind of goes hand in hand when it comes to disease. People with higher socioeconomic status are said to be healthier and they have healthier diets most of the time (ije.oxfordjournals.org). Culture and individual choice also play a role in the treatment and spread of disease. Pima Indians were deprived of water for centuries due to changes made to the Gila River for water projects which made Pima Indians suffer more than any other tribe of Indians. Without water, it is very difficult to remain in good health status. Mexican Indians were also studied and they were overall more healthy than the Pima Indians because they had more access to healthy foods and water. Therefore, they were able to make smarter diet choices. Thus, the individual choice of exercise and eating a healthy diet is also a factor in the spread and treatment of disease. It is very interesting to see how all of the different factors effect the health of people in our society.
“Bad Sugar” video clip
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/2/334.full. July 12, 2012.