Despite significant progress in improving the health of Native Americans over the past several decades, this population still experiences higher rates of disease and death compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. There are a number of public health issues that disproportionately affect Native Americans, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and substance abuse. Keep reading to learn more about these public health issues and what can be done to address them. And if you want to be a part of helping these communities, consider pursuing a bachelors of science public health degree.
Diabetes is a public health issue for Native Americans for a variety of reasons. One, diabetes is more prevalent in Native American communities than in the general population. Two, diabetes often leads to serious health complications, including blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. Three, diabetes is often preventable, and early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent these serious health complications.
There are a number of reasons why diabetes is more prevalent in Native American communities. One is that Native Americans are more likely to have a family history of diabetes. Additionally, Native Americans are more likely to be obese and have a poor diet. They are also more likely to have a sedentary lifestyle. Finally, Native Americans are more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes. Because diabetes can lead to serious health complications, it is important for Native Americans to be aware of the disease and to get timely diagnosis and treatment. You can learn if diabetes runs in your family with a DNA Native American test.
Obesity is a serious public health issue for Native Americans for a variety of reasons. According to the Indian Health Service, Native Americans have the highest rates of obesity of any race in the United States. More than 50% of Indigenous people are obese, and this number is increasing.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high rates of obesity among Indigenous people. One major factor is the lack of access to healthy foods. Many Indigenous communities are located in rural areas, where there is a lack of grocery stores and farmers’ markets. The only food options available are convenience stores and fast food restaurants, which are typically loaded with unhealthy foods. A second factor is the traditional diet of Indigenous people. The diet is high in carbohydrates and processed foods, and low in fruits and vegetables. This unhealthy diet contributes to weight gain and obesity. A third factor is the lack of physical activity. many indigenous people living in rural areas do not have access to recreational facilities, and many communities do not have sidewalks or bike paths. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which contributes to obesity.
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. While heart disease can affect anyone, it disproportionately affects certain populations, including Indigenous people. Indigenous people in the US are more likely to die from heart disease than any other population group. This is in part due to the fact that Indigenous people are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
In Indigenous communities in the US, addiction is a public health issue that requires a multi-faceted response. There is a growing body of research that indicates that the unique history and experiences of Indigenous people in the US contribute to higher rates of addiction and alcohol abuse. Historical trauma, including the forced removal from their land and communities, the boarding school experience, and the residential school system, has had a profound impact on the mental health of Indigenous people. Substance abuse is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with the trauma of colonization.
Public health concerns among Native Americans are significant and warrant further attention. Despite comprising a relatively small percentage of the US population, Native Americans experience a disproportionate burden of disease and have lower life expectancies than other Americans. Many of these health disparities are attributable to the unique historical and social experiences of Native Americans, including colonization, forced displacement, and discrimination. Addressing public health concerns among Native Americans will require a concerted effort from policymakers, healthcare providers, and tribal communities.