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Fix Communities Conquer Diabetes

The New York Times article on diabetes portrayed the illness through various lenses. We see the economic, social and physical effect on those inflicted with the disease. One of the aspects that I found most interesting was the analysis on the future to come.  “As more women contract diabetes in their reproductive years, Dr. Lorber said, more babies will be born with birth defects. Those needy babies will be raised by parents increasingly crippled by their diabetes.” This highlights one of the key factors that the American health care system fails to note and attack at early stages. Preventative medicine is the key to stop these problems from occurring. This disease allows people to live yet with debilitating circumstances, which can be prevented. We try to finance curing our problems that it is more cost efficient to save our money.

As diabetes affects adults, children are becoming the additional target for the life altering disease. In such situations, whom do you blame? Research suggests that genetics has a major cause for diabetes in children while other cases correlate it to the lifestyle and access to fresh foods. Additionally, the article suggests minority populations are at the forefront of being prone to the disease. While genetics play a role in all people, I strongly believe that the major reason for the presence of minority populations falls under the lifestyle and poverty of these families. While the literature strongly supports this notion, everyday experience supports it.  During a day working in South Central, I decided to look for a typical grocery store to pick up (to what I hoped) cheaper produce than the local Trader Joe’s in Westwood. Driving throughout the impoverished communities that were populated with apartment homes, not one grocery store came up. I proceeded to GPS a grocery store in the area to what resulted into no available locations.  Then considering that South Central is “the hood,” you are not only dealing with the poverty issue, you are working with a community that is tainted with gang violence, running around with a soccer ball might get a kid shot or dead.  Communities contribute to the diabetic problem and both outcomes are traumatizing. Either, you risk your chances at putting yourself in danger while getting physical activity needed or you fall into the continuous cycle of living with what is provided, which is not much considering that the family poor. In the grander scheme of things a disease such as diabetes cannot be combated without some community intervention, as long as there is none of that intervention, we will see more families with diabetes and more and more children inflicted with the disease.


2 responses to “Fix Communities Conquer Diabetes

  1. dsaifan

    It’s really a shame the circumstances we’ve come to here in America, and here in our own Los Angeles community. I agree that we need to get to the root of the problem and really aid low-income communities. Not only will fixing these impoverished communities help lower risk of diabetes and other diseases, but so many other problems may be fixed–gang violence may be reduced, youth may have better access to education, etc. While we live in Westwood’s luxuries–as you noted, most shop at the overpriced Trader Joe’s without second thought–our neighbors suffer and have extreme scarcity of fresh food, making them significantly more vulnerable to diseases like diabetes that will affect generations to come. After reading so many studies and articles, I still become more and more shocked to think that with all of this research and scientific proof we have about the increase of preventable diabetes, especially in children, the government is not doing much about the issue. What else needs to happen for America to finally make our health a priority?

  2. dabdi002 ⋅

    I really liked how you incorporated your own experience to further emphasis your point. Yes, i agree that easy access is nutritional resources is extremely important…but unfortunately, hard to come by in certain neighborhood. Also, i like how you included the idea that violence really does prevent people from exercising outside in certain neighborhood. I agree that some communal changes need to be made in order to achieve a more healthier society.

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