My mother is Native American and my father is white, but I identify mainly as Native American. I was raised in the Native community and am a tribal member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. My mother is also a nurse at the Gun Lake Tribe and they have monthly diabetes support group meetings which is why I chose diabetes prevalence among Natives. Diabetes is the number one health issue affecting Natives across the nation.
Diabetes has been a serious health issue among the Native American Indian population. This has been a health disparity since their diet changed from organic hunter gatherer diet to a highly processed diet. This change in diet lead to high rates in diabetes, overweight/obesity, and heart disease because of the high fat and sugar contents of their diets. When Natives were placed onto reservations they could no longer continue their traditional hunter gatherer diets. Many Natives living on reservations lived in poverty and didn’t have to means to get and consume healthy foods. In today’s society, hectic and fast paced, many people, many Natives, consume a lot of processed foods, fast food, and junk foods which has adverse effects on their metabolic process.
I think that diabetes prevention among Natives is important because more and more Native youth and adolescences are being diagnosed with diabetes I. Diabetes prevalence in Natives is due to several determinants like socioeconomic, genetic, and social. Many natives still live in poverty, lower class system, even with per capita, which prevents them from being able to get the better nutritional foods and the education or knowledge of a nutritional diet. Also, just like everybody else living in today’s society, fast foods and junk food is easily accessible and cheap. From a genetic stand point, diabetes I can be genetic due to pancreas not functioning correctly. Diabetes type II risks can increase if family members also have it. Diabetes type II has spiked in recent years and is mainly due to modern diets of bad, unhealthy foods and not enough exercise both influenced by socioeconomics and hectic social lifestyles.
Buxton, Rachel, “Diabetes No. 1 health problem among Native Americans”, Seminole Tribune 24 Feb 2012: 13A. accessed July 15, 2016, http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/docview/963551347/8401A6A2CE274910PQ/5?accountid=12598
American Diabetes Association, Last Edited April 1, 2016. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=http://www.bing.com/search?q=heart%20disease%20statistics%20by%20ethnicity&qs=RI&pq=heart%20disease%20statistics%20ethni&sc=1-30&sp=1&cvid=46567746093E4888BC5F642EBC33C0A4&FORM=QBRE&ghc=1