The Effect of Diabetes on the Native American Communit

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Submitted By ebn128
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The Effect of Diabetes on the Native American Community
Diabetes has been rapidly growing in the Native American community for the past several years now. Traditions and economics are factors in the rise of diabetic cases in Native Americans. Other factors include traditional food consumption, traditional patterns of physical activity, and environmental changes. A contributory factor that is often times not mentioned has to do with tribal perception and beliefs about diabetes in the Native communities across America.

Traditional food consumption has changed and become one of the major reasons that American Indians are diabetic. During the pre-reservation era, the type of food that was consumed was wild game like buffalo, elk, rabbit, snake, and fish. Traditional foods the Natives eat are far different from modern food today. Many Native Americans consumed a diet that is highly processed today after moving to the reservations. According to McLaughlin “The food they get from the government are higher is saturated fat, higher in sodium, added sugars and cholesterol”. These foods have little or no nutrients or vitamins in them therefore causing the Natives to become diabetic. McLaughlin also states that “Due to limited finances, lack of transportation, and other factors cause tribal members have limited access to healthier foods.” “The reservations have convenient stores with limited amounts of fresh foods that are usually expensive.” This modern type diet has made 62% of Native Americans to become diabetic (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention). These changes in the traditional food consumption have a great influence on the rising amount of adult and young Native Americans being diabetic.
The decline of traditional patterns of physical activities is another cause that leads to diabetes in the Native American communities. “Traditional patterns of…...

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