Bad Sugar

When taking the quiz I surprisingly scored a 9 out of 10. It was really informational with facts I didn’t even know about such as recent Latino immigrants having better health than the average American, which I thought would be the complete opposite given that the average American would have better health and resources. Another fact that I initially knew already but was still surprising was the stark differences in life expectancy between rich and poor counties in the U.S. Being that we all have the same right and abide by the same laws the life expectancy should be around the same as well. Even though this fact lies mostly in the hands individual society of those counties.

I picked the “bad sugar” case where it talked about The O’odham Indian tribe and their suffering with diabetes. It was said that half of the tribe was suffering from diabetes from the lack of irrigation being supplemented to the tribe. Other risk factors included low income, obesity, and stress which was a sign to cause an increase in blood sugar which all are non-genetic factors. Dams were built in the early years but was shared by other people and the O’odham tribe was at the end of the Canal getting little to none of the water it was supposed to be providing. The tribe did get some government assistance through the Commodity Program. Though the program was helpful with providing food, most of the food was processed food or heavier foods that included bread, lard, beans and cheese, none of which these were the main traditional food that the tribes lived of on for the many years of their existence. The O’odham people who suffered from the disease of diabetes continued to survive with the help of insulin, staying productive and keeping the attitude of hopefulness. Which soon came in the year 2004 called the Water Right Settlement Act. Once this act was in place the O’odham tribe was about to change things around and provide the right foods, jobs and exercise to get the current generation back on track.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Colleen Drabek says:

    I think one possible solution to the diabetes epidemic of the O’odham people would be to introduce a lifestyle betterment program. This could include such things as social workers and nutritionists coming into the community to teach the people certain lifestyle changes that could help decrease their susceptibility to diabetes.
    For example, the tribe could be taught how to live a move active lifestyle. Exercises for people of all ages could be demonstrated. They could start a reward program where children receive prizes for exercising a certain amount of time.
    The nutritionists could educate people on a proper diet. Whereas the food might not necessarily be available, knowing the difference between healthy foods and fattening foods is still important. The tribe can be taught how to make more complete meals that include proper food group portions.
    I think my solution is a combination of political and economical. These programs will undoubtedly cost money, which will probably be paid for my taxpayers. I think government officials should be responsible for solving the health disparity. Lack of irrigation was a fault on the government’s end. Proper policy needs to be in place in order to fix this problem and improve the health of the tribe. It’ll most likely take some time to right these wrongs but everyone should benefit in the end.

  2. Nia Franklin says:

    I agree with Colleen. Action should be taken to prevent this epidemic of diabetes. I was attracted to your post because I made a similar post on the relationship between diabetes in African Americans and Native Americans. It seems as though they are both susceptible to the disease. I personally think a lot of it has to do with education and low income. You can’t work to prevent something you know nothing about. Low income can cause many problems including stress. Stress leads to eating to feel better and smoking cigarettes which lead to obesity and high blood pressure. The solution is really economic but also it’s going to take a community effort. Every group in the health care system has to participate, patients, Doctors, and Government. The people need to take a stand for their health and the doctors also need to lend a hand and realize it’s not right that only a select few people can afford to be healthy. Of course the government needs to step up and provide educational programs to the minorities that may not have health care or know how to take care of themselves. These programs should focus on healthy eating habits and methods of exercise.

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