Bad Sugar

I pretty much failed the Health Equity Quiz. I received a score of 3 out of 10. The statistic that I found most surprising about the quiz was how the United States was in 29th place when compared with other countries. This was extremely shocking to me because we are the second wealthiest country in the world. I thought we were at least in the top 10. With all of the advancements in health and technology I expected our life expectancy to be longer than 77.9 years. According to the quiz, countries that are poorer than us, such as Costa Rica, Chile, and Greece have higher life expectancies than we do. I guess wealth does not always equate to better health in this example. 

The case study that I chose to summarize was Finding Hope for the Future by Reclaiming the Past. This study  focuses on the epidemic of diabetes among the O’odham people of southern Arizona. They have more than 7 times the national average rate of having Type 2 diabetes. The article states that diabetes did not exist among the O’odham people 100 years ago. Then by 1965 there were 558 known cases and that number increased to well over into the thousands 40 years later. This could have possibly been caused by the damning of the Gila river which destroyed a lot of their agriculture and forced them into poverty. Poor diet and lack of exercise could have also lead to the high rate of diabetes. Some of the solutions the case study suggested were creating economic opportunity, strengthening their cultural identity, fostering self-determination, and providing people with healthy alternatives to government commodities, especially surplus food.

Yes there are non-genetic factors that can explain the high rate of diabetes among the O’odham tribe. Some of these factors include past injustices, genocide, displacement, and economic loss which all lead to higher stress levels for O’odham people. These higher stress levels can lead to a higher rate of diabetes. We have to consider these factors when we look at what is appropriate for their diets and exercise. What is considered a good diet for most Americans can be completely different for the O’odham tribe. We have to consider what resources are available to them in order to determine what the appropriate diet and exercise plan would be for the O’odham tribe.

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