W2 Activity: Bad sugar

I got a 5 out of ten I believe on the Health Equity Quiz. I was very surprised to learn that certain immigrant groups declined in their health after immigration to the United States. I also did not realize that the United States spends so much of each on healthcare, yet we still are ranked number 29 in the world for life -span. Maternal and infant child health in the United States is still pretty poor compared to other industrialized countries.  I wonder why are expenditure for health is so high, but our quality of life and longevity is still relatively low.

Globalization and urbanization is not always mean greater health an example of this is indigenous groups.  Certain indigenous groups have higher rates of diabetes due to the vast change in their living environment. The indigenous populations that live by the river often depended on the river for their life. The river provided vegetation for the groups. There is also a correlation between poverty and type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar control is more difficult when there are high-stress hormones in an individual.  The food available to these indigenous groups wasn’t often healthy although it was much more affordable.  Commodified food that was available to these groups were often high in fat and lard. The commodified unhealthy food became a cultural norm and risked the health of these groups more. There were also not safe places for individuals to exercise. Cultural identity was lost due to lack of access to river water as well.

There needs to be more schools, access to clean water and there need to be more water rights for the indigenous groups to feel more empowered about their own health.





2 thoughts on “W2 Activity: Bad sugar

  1. I also think it’s interesting that we supposedly live in a medically advanced and wealthy nation, yet the health of our mothers and children is unusually low. Americans rack up massive healthcare bills all the time, and the piles of debt they are left with forces them to declare bankruptcy or sell their house. Even though our country is home to some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world, we are also the home of a population that is sustained by consumerism and sugar, and a government that implements weak and ineffective health improvement programs.
    I agree with what you said about empowerment in regards to health. Having the knowledge of what is healthy vs what is unhealthy is a major part of helping a population live healthy lifestyles, but knowing what is best for your health is not very useful if you don’t have access to fresh, nutritious food or the financial means to acquire it. It’s no secret that it’s cheaper to eat junk food, partly because the ingredients are so cheap and refined, but also because most unhealthy food is shelf stable, meaning no money or food is wasted if it’s not eaten right away. Subsidizing the purchase of foods like fresh produce, eggs, whole grains and lean meats could help people change their eating habits.

  2. I noticed three key factors you mention that affect the risk of getting diabetes. These include high stress hormones, unhealthy commodified food, and a lack of exercise. All of these can be considered a result of living in poverty which puts those impoverished at a disadvantage from avoiding diabetes. Although there are many solutions out there to protect people against diabetes, one way to take control is to give those at risk a better opportunity at a healthier lifestyle. This could be done by doctors in a way by organizing fitness plans and healthy diets to diabetes patients and those in high risk of having it. Along with medication for diabetes, having a healthier lifestyle overall will help limit or reduce the risk. No extra funding or tax dollars would be necessary for this solution. The influence of doctors “prescribing” healthy living habits ultimately relies on the individual for there to be any success. However, this could be a challenge and require political organization and funding for ones living in poverty who struggle being able to eat and exercise in a stable environment. Lastly, your post contains many good ideas and your solution at the end makes sense in order to avoid diabetes becoming a big problem.

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