By Dean L. Jones
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Minority Health (OMH) states that blacks can inherit a predisposition for contracting diabetes. Furthermore, such agencies report that diabetes is a disease that disproportionally affects all racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. The OMH statistics show how racial and ethnic minorities have a higher burden of diabetes, worse diabetes control and are more likely to experience complications.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Census Bureau show that 17.5% of American Indians/Alaska natives, 16.3% of American Indians/Native Americans, 13.2% of Hispanics, 12.9% of non-Hispanic blacks, 9.1% of Asian Americans, and 7.6% of non-Hispanic adult whites have diabetes. Once again whether its housing, unemployment, inferior education, dysfunctional families, drug abuse, and so on, minority group members are constantly seen at the lousy end of the spectrum.
The OMH describes the reasons minority group members are more susceptible to diabetes is due to poverty, lack of access to health care, cultural attitudes and underprivileged lifestyle behaviors. As well, diabetes can progress faster in minority populations due to the rapid progression compounded by a poor diet and a sedentary life. In view of that, if one is to ever grab hold of his/her own self-worth and self-determination, the area of health improvement is a great starting point.
I am encouraged that by accentuating self-knowledge that collectively minority group members can steer clear of these devastating dilemmas and thereby being better equipped to rebuff the OMH’s handy stereotypical pattern of negative fact pronouncements. Recent national data show that 82% of black women and 77.2% of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 63.2% of white women. With greater emphasis on self-knowledge this statistic can be eliminated quickly since both blacks and Latinos were known for eating freshly grown fruits and vegetables long before becoming addicted to buckets of processed chicken, unlimited soda refills, fried potato/tortilla chips, and/or over-priced cardboard cereal boxes.
Last year, 14,029 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. and 2,500 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month, or one person every 20 minutes. Our bodies are simply just not able to fully digest and assimilate the chemical mixture used to produce contemporary packaged foodstuff. The root of good eating is to strengthen the immune system and vital organs. Fresh beets, sweet potatoes, collards, green beans, and the like were the only options given for meals in the 1950’s and before.
Around the mid-sixties the American food revolution began to purchase it and eat it (bypassing conscientious preparation), and the battle continues leaving human collateral of obesity, weakened immune systems, strokes, heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and amputations in its wake. The food war’s rebuilding effort is comprised of new-fangled drugs (including blood products, medical devices and vaccines), to help save us from ourselves.
Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes of packaged foods & beverages.