I got a 5/10 on the Health Equity Quiz but would have done much worse were it not for some of the classes I took over the last year like epidemiology. I remember some of the surprising statistics from that course and saw the information resurface in the quiz. The only statistic I found genuinely surprising was that recent Latino immigrants generally have better health than the average American. The quiz stated that these immigrants are poorer than the average American, yet do not experience the wealth-based health deficit also mentioned in the quiz. The Latino immigrants do however, lose their health advantage not long after their arrival which suggests that the environment plays a huge role in their overall health.
“Bad Sugar” focuses on the Native American tribes, Tahono O’odham and Pima, and the very problematic presence of diabetes in the tribes. Both tribes were otherwise very healthy when they lived off their land, producing their own crops and hunting their own game. The diversion of the Gila River for other settlers and the construction of the Coolidge Dam forced Native American reliance on the commodity food program that supplied cheap and unhealthy foods. Access to healthy foods is extremely limited and has been a huge contributor to the growth of diabetes in these communities. Thankfully, an agreement was reached with the Arizona Water Settlements Act and the Gila River now continues to flow through the Pima land so the tribe can begin to rebuild their community and culture.
As shown in this video, poverty level can have a great influence on the development of diabetes. The rate of diabetes is more than double for those with income of less than $20,000 as compared to those with an income of greater than $80,000. Furthermore, the lack of access to water for the agriculturally-reliant Pima tribe destroyed their way of life and drove the rise in the prevalence of diabetes.