Both the videos in class & Kacey’s presentation on Native American modern diet and diabetes rates were incredibly eye-opening to me. Personally, I had little to no idea about the extent of this problem before taking this class. I know diabetes is a huge problem in the rest of the United States, but I always assumed that within reservations, Native Americans would retain their historical diets & only marginally be affected by the obesity epidemic in America.
I think that because Native Americans are in such a unique situation—partial sovereignty, attempts to maintain their culture & previous lifestyles, restrictions set by modern times, scarce resources, and encroaching land use by Americans—they are left with few options to combat this epidemic on their own and are really subject to what they are given and, as evident in the video we watched in class, what they are given consists mostly of processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods. I felt that the education method for combatting diabetes was a bit idealistic; certainly, anyone could benefit from understanding how the food they eat affects them. However, when there simply aren’t many readily available healthy options, and the healthy options are more expensive, harder to acquire or simply aren’t appetizing, it’s hard to believe the diabetes problem will actually be fixed.