Bad Sugar

I did very poorly on the health quiz (less than 50%) and I only got those few correct because of previous classes dealing with how the American health care system is severely flawed. That being said, the most shocking statistic is still how much more American’s spend on healthcare, and how Americans are still much unhealthier than others that spend less. Personally, I believe a socialized medical system is the biggest step we can take to change this trend.

The episode I am choosing to analyze is “Bad Sugar”. This episode demonstrated how development and urbanization are not good for all of the people present in the area of concern. The episode focused on American Indian tribes in Arizona and the staggering rates of diabetes in those tribes today compared to a few generations ago. According to the video, the main reason for this drastic increase is depriving the tribes of river water that used to flow through their land by diverting it to more urban settlements. This means that the water they used to use for farming was instead used for watering golf courses and having resorts pools. Clearly this is of an aesthetic and recreational benefit to those in the urban area, but it is at a great cost to the people of the tribes.

Since the tribes no longer had water to farm, the tribes had no source of income and relied on government provided food to survive. These foods did not include nutrient rich foods such as fresh produce, and thus the rate of diabetes skyrocketed. In 2004, new policy was passed in Arizona to provide the tribes with the water they once had, but the data has yet to show if the diabetes rate will decrease as quickly as it rose.

Clearly, this is an example of a non-genetic factor affecting disease rate. Poor communities cannot afford a healthy diet and thus their health suffers.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Lindsey Green says:

    A solution for the health problems from the case study ‘Bad Sugar’ could be to fund and restock local grocery stores in the areas needed. Many of these populations live in areas where good and nutritious foods are replaced with cheap fatty foods. For example, the Native Americans suffer from diabetes two to three times more than the caucasian american. The Native Americans are put into communities and aren’t given the proper health care and resources. If we reduced their intake of bad sugars then the rate of diabetes would therefore decrease. A governmentally funded program should be put into place to help restore these communities back to healthy standards. Many individuals in these areas would have to drive hundreds of miles to reach grocery stores with adequate foods. Instead they have to eat poor and unhealthy foods that will only increase their health issues.
    My solution is political. It is political because I am involving the government. I think it is their obligation to make sure every american citizen is getting the resources they need and deserve. If individuals are not given the correct tools needed to survive what does the government suppose they do? These communities are poor and they work for a living just to give money back to the government in taxes. Its time we spent a little time and money on those who really need it.

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