Bad Sugar

The Health Equity Quiz had a few unexpected answers like the United States life expectancy compared to other countries. I got three questions wrong, but had to stop and think about the realistic state of America before answering most of the questions. I never expected the United States to be tied with South Korea in 29th place. My expectation of the United States’ life expectancy was correct 50 years ago when we were in the top five. I think major changes need to be made to get the United States back to the top five. American’s health is going down hill and we are living shorter lives, while our medical treatments are increasing. As Americans we are not living up to our own expectations.

In the film ” Bad Sugar” the prevalence of type two diabetes among the Pime Native American tribe is discussed. The Pima tribe had a dramatic lifestyle change when their water supplies was taken away from the Gila River. This caused them to not be able to grow crops and therefore produce food. With no way of growing their own crops and limited food supple in general, due to living in a rural area government help was needed.  The Pima tribe had to rely on commodity food funds which only supplied processed unhealthy food. Fresh produce was not introduced into the program until 1996. Living off of this food and with little to no exercise obesity became a problem. With obesity comes type two diabetes. Another factor that has been studied is diabetes among races of people who have been up rooted from their home land and are not able to recreate the same lifestyle. This could be due to all the stress that come with starting a whole new lifestyle. It has been tested that there is a direct biochemical connection between stress and an increase in blood sugar. With an increase in blood sugar comes build up of glucose causing type two diabetes. These are non- genetic health issues. The environmental factors are playing a key role.  Some think that there may be genetic reasoning that leads to type two diabetes, but it is still being studied. There has been no cure found for diabetes.

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  1. Mary Normand says:

    Right now, the Pima Indians are very prone to developing diabetes because they are living in poverty, and the food that they have access to is unhealthy and processed. When the US government gives them food, they have entire warehouses stocked with chips and other unhealthy, processed foods for them, nothing fresh.
    After a long fight, it seems that the government has already come up with a little bit of a solution by giving the Pima Indians back their water, although I don’t know if this is enough. Until the Pima Indians can develop their agriculture so they can be self reliant, the government should supply them with healthier foods than the processed foods that they have been giving them. The Pima Indians are now living in a food desert where they have little access to fresh foods. I think that the locals and the government should be responsible for the change in the health of the Pima Indians. The government should help supply them with their healthier foods and follow through with making sure they are supplied with their rights to water. The locals should work on maintaining the agriculture so that they can be self-reliant and so they don’t need the help of the government for fresh food.

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