“Bad Sugar”

I did pretty awful on the Health Quiz.  A 4/10 if I’m not mistaken.  I was most interested by the life expectancy numbers, and the Washington, DC example of how you can see a difference of 20 years in life expectancy on a train ride from one neighborhood to another.  I lived on an Indian reservation in South Dakota where life expectancy is of the lowest in the entire western hemisphere, and it is always pretty sad for me to be reminded that these conditions are allowed to exist in one of the richest, most powerful countries on the planet.

I chose to study “Finding Hope for the Future by Reclaiming the Past,” which also deals with native issues.  Prevalence of diabetes on reservations is staggering, and can be attributed to many things.  On Pine Ridge, the reservation I lived in SD, things like alcoholism, commodity foods supplied by the government, “gas station diets”, and lack of grocery stores all contribute to the poor health of the people.  But the common denominator amongst these health issues is poverty.  The stark conditions in which people are forced to live are truly do to the fact that there is little economic activity.  When people don’t have jobs, they can’t afford to buy good food or even get the kind of exercise they need at work.

Also, when you lack an economy, the “globalization” and “development” rarely finds you because you seemingly have little to contribute.  From this perception, judgement and stereotypes may grow.  The author of my article talked a little about “victim blaming” and the effect this can have on the epidemic of diabetes.  This racist behavior takes resources out of the hands of people who need them, and can be so damaging that young natives view it as an inevitability.  These are all factors outside of genetics that are making the diabetes epidemic even more deadly, especially in Indian Country.

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Devin Jay-Garfein says:

    Christopher, you make a good point when it comes to “globalization” and “development.” People think that everyone benefits from it but it doesn’t even reach everyone. I propose a solution that has the government provide healthy produce and education about nutrition. I think that they need to help the communities get fresh produce. If given the choice most people choose healthy. When people have gas station food or other kinds of processed foods as their choices it isn’t fair. The government needs to make policies that support healthy foods and distribute them everywhere. If fresh produce is available and affordable it would make a huge difference. Along with providing the food becoming educated on nutrition is important. The public schools should teach the kids how to eat healthy and how important it is.

    The communities could start by making a farmers market or building a community garden. The schools could plant vegetable gardens. You mentioned before, some people don’t seem like they can contribute. But that is not true, I agree with you. People want to be healthy and happy.

    This solution is political and economical. It involves the locals and government figures to become active in making a difference. I think that the community as a whole should come together for the gardens. If everyone pitches in, it could make the difference.

  2. Devin Jay-Garfein says:

    Christopher, you make a good point when it comes to “globalization” and “development.” People think that everyone benefits from it but it doesn’t even reach everyone. I propose a solution that has the government provide healthy produce and education about nutrition. I think that they need to help the communities get fresh produce. If given the choice most people choose healthy. When people have gas station food or other kinds of processed foods as their choices it isn’t fair. The government needs to make policies that support healthy foods and distribute them everywhere. If fresh produce is available and affordable it would make a huge difference. Along with providing the food becoming educated on nutrition is important. The public schools should teach the kids how to eat healthy and how important it is.

    The communities could start by making a farmers market or building a community garden. The schools could plant vegetable gardens. You mentioned before, some people don’t seem like they can contribute. But that is not true, I agree with you. People want to be healthy and happy.

    This solution is political and economical. It involves the locals and government figures to become active in making a difference. I think that the community as a whole should come together for the gardens. If everyone pitches in, it could make the difference.

  3. Devin Jay-Garfein says:

    Christopher, you make a good point when it comes to “globalization” and “development.” People think that everyone benefits from it but it doesn’t even reach everyone. I propose a solution that has the government provide healthy produce and education about nutrition. I think that they need to help the communities get fresh produce. If given the choice most people choose healthy. When people have gas station food or other kinds of processed foods as their choices it isn’t fair. The government needs to make policies that support healthy foods and distribute them everywhere. If fresh produce is available and affordable it would make a huge difference. Along with providing the food becoming educated on nutrition is important. The public schools should teach the kids how to eat healthy and how important it is.

    The communities could start by making a farmers market or building a community garden. The schools could plant vegetable gardens. You mentioned before, some people don’t seem like they can contribute. But that is not true, I agree with you. People want to be healthy and happy.

    This solution is political and economical. It involves the locals and government figures to become active in making a difference. I think that the community as a whole should come together for the gardens. If everyone pitches in, it could make the difference.

  4. Taylor Smith says:

    There seem to be many similarities between the film that I studied, “Becoming Amercican” and “Bad Sugar,” in that one of the biggest contributing factors to this health disparity is poverty and lack of help and resources. In order to help lower the occurrence of diabetes among Native Americans, I believe it will take a collaborative effort among politicians and government, scientists, and the residents of the reserves themselves. I think that the government should allocate funding in order to establish programs that aim to change the diet and lifestyle of the residents. Scientists should help to establish farms and gardens that grow fruits and vegetables. This, in turn, would create jobs for those living on the reserve, as well as give them more exercise for a healthy, active life. By creating jobs, it will boost the economy within the reserve, and help to lower the poverty rate. As we have seen from many examples, wealth is one of the greatest predictors of health in our country. However, I feel that we should help the Native Americans to earn this wealth and help themselves rather than just handing out assistance. By giving them a reason to become active, we can rid the norm of a sedimentary lifestyle. I think it would also be very important to ensure that these reserves have access to a nearby, affordable grocery store in which they can purchase better food choices. The addition of a grocery store would again create jobs and boost the ecomony.

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