Bad Sugar

 

 

I scored a 4/10 on the Health Equity Quiz. I had expected to do better than this, but some of the facts were quite surprising. For example, the fact that we as Americans spend half of all health care dollars in the world and more than twice the average per person of other industrialized countries, and sill rank 29th in the world in life expectancy was shocking. One would assume that the more money being spent on healthcare, the more effective the healthcare is, however that is just not the case in the United States. Americans often think of themselves as superior to other countries due industrial success and standards of living, therefore it was surprising to see that even with all this money being spent, we are still behind countries that we tend to think of as inferior. This shows that even though money is being spent to improve healthcare, the cons of certain healthcare improvement projects can sometimes outweigh the pros and result in a high budget without yielding the proper outcomes for the entire population.

In the unnatural causes episode “Bad Sugar”, the development project to water golf courses and resorts disrupted the natural water sources of the Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians of southern Arizona, ruined their agricultural practices, which forced them into poverty and to become dependent on the United States government. Instead of being able to grow their own crops and sustain their socioeconomic stability, the local tribes were forced to begin a new diet of white flour, lard, processed cheese and canned foods, which in turn has resulted in the highest peaks of diabetes rates in history. In this particular case, the genetic factors of the disease rates are negligible because, the rates were normal prior to the disruption of their agricultural system due to development projects. The high rates of diabetes began only after the Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians were forced into poverty and a poor diet, leading to diabetes

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Ava Peera says:

    It is sad to think about the situation that the Indian’s faced once they were forced into poverty and a poor diet. Poor diet and the influences it has on one person’s life, such as diabetes or obesity, are things that should be fought against and prevented as much as possible. A better diet and exercise are key factors that can be used as a solution. A diet should be more focused around fresh grown foods and more vegetables and fruit. Exercise is also very important. Even a little amount of exercise such as walking or biking for half an hour has a positive influence on health. I believe my solution is individual and economical. It is a person’s choice whether or not they eat healthy and exercise, and you can’t force that upon them. It is also political because the government needs to make sure that these healthy diets can be fulfilled. Since a local project was the reason that the Indian’s agricultural practices were ruined, the government should be responsible for assuring that a healthy diet can be achieved. The community and government will have to work together in order to ensure that they have functional agriculture fields that can be used to grow fresh food and reduce the chance of developing diabetes.

  2. Rolando Barajas says:

    Well based on the comment summarization of the tribe’s health and of the case (I did not watch this episode). We see that unfortunately that due to industrialization of the surrounding environment they have lost a primary source of growing healthy food and due to political policies it seems that the government tries to compensate by giving the tribes food. Although the food provided is severely unhealthy leading to the high incidence of diabetes within this population of people. I would propose that if the government wants to aid they find alternatives to resupplying an alternative system of irrigation that helps with growing crops that rebuilds the tribes economy. They could also make man made wells and bring an outside source of water to the village so they can store clean water and use for irrigation, since the government is already spending money on food they could just re-invest in making man made wells.

    This approach would rely on political, individual and environmental actions to achieve the solution. Government by funding of the project and environmental by changing of the natural landscape to have it retain water, then individual by having the local tribe actually take action and grow crops for themselves.

    All parties involved have a vital role role in solving for this health disparity, the government and the individuals that aided in the building of the dam, should contribute since they are primarily responsible for the health disparity. Also the locals should begin an initiative to become healthy, if so many are affected by a health related disease they need to make a change by making programs that exposes a more healthy lifestyle.

  3. Mohkam Singh says:

    It is extremely saddening to read about the harsh treatment of Native Americans by early settlers in the Americas and I agree with your assumption that much of the harsh treatment was to subdue the indigenous population in favor of European settlers. Diabetes is a major issue in Native Americans today and has been a major concern for a very long time. Sadly, the individuals who are more prone to this disease now is because of their poor diet. Like you said, fried bread was not a natural food for their population. I would propose healthier dietary habits and more physical activity be implemented for these populations. While that may be a difficult idea to instill (each person has a right to what they put in their bodies) through proper education and monitoring, diabetes and other controllable health issues can be managed. I believe this solution is political, based on the individual, and economical. I believe a political approach is necessary because lower income families, not only Native Americans, tend to not be educated about these health risks. The government can setup workshops and other programs to help educate these people. I believe my solution is also based on the individual’s desire to be healthy. Finally, going hand in hand with the political solution, these individuals need to learn about how to approach their poor dietary and physical activity from an economical standpoint. Someone needs to teach them how to maximize their dollar by getting healthy foods, not bad foods.

  4. Shelby Brewington says:

    This is an extremely saddening issue to read about, I did not watch this particular video, so to read about how the Pima only developed diabetes at such a high rate after the development project to water golf courses and resorts seems just morally wrong. It saddens me to think that this is an issue that could be potentially avoided, by perhaps simply finding other resources to water the gold courses and resorts that would not take away from the Pima’s agricultural way of life. In order to fix the problem of diabetes however, now that it has started, would be to implement a healthier diet to the Pima Indians. Instead of the lard and canned goods that are usually very high in sodium, I would suggest more fruits and greens. Also some natural nuts for protein. A diet would go a long way in helping decrease the onset of diabetes. Also along with that i would say to increase the amount of exercise one does. Exercise is another simple way to help decrease the prevalence of diabetes. I believe this solution is political, dealing with the the individual, and their economical status. I think my solution is political in that it speaks of finding a different method to water golf courses and resorts that would not take away from the people around those areas. The government can set up better programs to help these people and educate them on what foods are the most optimal when trying to combat diabetes. I also think my solution has to deal with the individual in that it is the Pima themselves that make the decision on what exactly they do and do not consume and also the amount of exercise they carry out. My solution is also economical in that I had suggested them to eat a better diet, which often healthier foods are also the more expensive foods. In my opinion the government should be partly responsible for solving this health disparity, along with the Pima themselves in taking steps in the right direction by trying to consume healthier foods.

  5. Shelby Brewington says:

    This is an extremely saddening situation to read about, it seems morally wrong to effect a cultures way of life in order to simple water golf courses and resorts. This problems seems as though it could be completely avoidable, Due to the fact that diabetes was only seen more often after the Pima’s agricultural lifestyle was impacted. Therefore a solution in order to fix this problem could be to instead find other methods to water the golf courses and resorts that would not impact any culture lifestyle. Another solution that would work to decrease the amount of diabetes seen in the Pima would be to change their diet. Instead of a diet consisting of canned foods which are often high in sodium, and other processed foods, perhaps they can work to incorporate a diet more rich in fruits and vegetables. Especially green leafy vegetables. Another big solution would be to increase the amount of exercise the Pima carryout. Even an hour of exercise a day could greatly decrease the prevalence of diabetes. I believe my solution is political, dealing also with the individual, and their economical status. I say that it is political because I think the government could work to find other methods that would not effect the Pima. I also think they could make an effort to educate the Pima on more healthier food choices. I also think this solution is individual because it is the Pima themselves the dictate what they do and do not consume. I also say this solution is economical because I suggested they eat a healthier diet, and often healthier food are more expensive. Therefore in my opinion it is the governments responsibility to step in and educate and help out the Pima. Change their ways of operating for the good of the pima. It is also the Pima themselves responsibility to make the decision to increase exercise and make more health conscious food decisions.

  6. Shelby Brewington says:

    This is an extremely saddening situation to read about, it seems morally wrong to effect a cultures way of life in order to simple water golf courses and resorts. This problems seems as though it could be completely avoidable, Due to the fact that diabetes was only seen more often after the Pima’s agricultural lifestyle was impacted. Therefore a solution in order to fix this problem could be to instead find other methods to water the golf courses and resorts that would not impact any culture lifestyle. Another solution that would work to decrease the amount of diabetes seen in the Pima would be to change their diet. Instead of a diet consisting of canned foods which are often high in sodium, and other processed foods, perhaps they can work to incorporate a diet more rich in fruits and vegetables. Especially green leafy vegetables. Another big solution would be to increase the amount of exercise the Pima carryout. Even an hour of exercise a day could greatly decrease the prevalence of diabetes. I believe my solution is political, dealing also with the individual, and their economical status. I say that it is political because I think the government could work to find other methods that would not effect the Pima. I also think they could make an effort to educate the Pima on more healthier food choices. I also think this solution is individual because it is the Pima themselves the dictate what they do and do not consume. I also say this solution is economical because I suggested they eat a healthier diet, and often healthier food are more expensive. Therefore in my opinion it is the governments responsibility to step in and educate and help out the Pima. Change their ways of operating for the good of the pima. It is also the Pima themselves responsibility to make the decision to increase exercise and make more health conscious food decisions.

  7. Ashley Start says:

    One solution to the problem of diabetes in the Pima Indians would be to correct the problems irrigation has caused to allow the pima to go back to their original practices of agriculture, also allowing them to lead a healthier lifestyle without white flour, lard, and canned foods. If this is not possible, then the government should provide the pima with healthier foods rather than canned ones or allow them to farm other land to go back to their agricultural ways and lead a lifestyle with a healthier diet. The government should also provide the Pima with a manner of being able to exercise to burn off the excess calories produced by the unhealthy foods they’re being given. If these solutions do not work, the government should allow the Pima to move to different land, if it is possible for them, so they would be able to produce agriculture again and go back to their original healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and exercise. It will also take work from the pima people to want to change their lifestyles and become healthier to fix what their new lifestyle has done in terms of their overall health and diet.

  8. Kayla Lumpkin says:

    I believe that the solution to the high diabetes rates described in “Bad Sugar” would have to be a combination of political, individual, and economical. Being that the development projects of the government left the natives in southern Arizona in poverty, the government should be the first to offer aid and assistance. The government must deal with the repercussions of their development project and help the rebuild the economy for the Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians. This could mean restoring their previously successful agricultural system or providing more quality, nutritious foods within their assistance programs, even if it isn’t as cost effective. As well, the local government should take initiative to establish health-promoting programs or tax-reductions in order to give the locals motivation. Finally, in addition to the political and economical responsibilities of the government, ultimately the solution to the high diabetic rates will be up to the individual. Just like any problem, if the individual does not choose to make the effort to change, there is nothing that can truly help, not any assistance from the government or motivating programs. Each individual affected by the development project in southern Arizona must take responsibility for his or her own individual health. Daily exercise is vital to maintaining health in addition to a proper diet. But as a great start, no help from the government is needed for the locals to get active and be the start of the solution.

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