Mexico vs. Arizona Pima Indians

ICTMN Staff
12/1/10

Arizona’s Pima Indians exceed the type 2 diabetes rate (38 percent) of the genetically similar Pima Indians in Mexico (6.9 percent) by five times, according to a 2006 study by the American Diabetes Association.

While Arizona’s Pima Indians currently have the highest rates of diabetes and obesity in the United States, that wasn't always the case. They were lean until around 1890 when their water supply was overtaken by American settlers upstream. The United States government began subsidizing the tribe's food -- much of it containing sugar and white flour, and obesity and diabetes rates soared, said Dr. Guoxun Chen, assistant professor at The University of Tennessee Obesity Research Center.

The contingent of Pima who relocated to the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico continued traditional farming, and the vast majority of Mexico's Pima Indians have maintained healthy weights, according to Dr. Eric Ravussin, a visiting scientist at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), who has studied obesity in the Pima Indians since 1984, states an NIDDK report.

Ravussin also points out the Pima predisposition to store fat efficiently due to survival mechanisms evolved in the harsh southwestern desert.

"There's no question these people suffer from a genetic disease," says Ravussin. "It's not sloth and gluttony."

Regardless, the drastically different diabetes and obesity rates of Mexico's Pima Indians versus Arizona's Pima Indians proves the significance of a healthy diet, including eating fresh vegetables and fruits and limiting consumption of manufactured food.

"We've learned from this study of the Mexican Pimas that if the Pima Indians of Arizona could return to some of their traditions, including a high degree of physical activity and a diet with less fat and more starch, we might be able to reduce the rate, and surely the severity, of unhealthy weight in most of the population," Ravussin said.

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shanequa's picture
shanequa
Submitted by shanequa on
wtf

carl 's picture
carl
Submitted by carl on
yo mama

Elasha Randolph's picture
Elasha Randolph
Submitted by Elasha Randolph on
This is really sad. People don't think about the babies that are going to be born into that part of the world and may have to go through this. Do you not know that people die from diabetes and obesity? Think of babies dying because their parents have to feed them that mess! It really does get upsetting thinking about all of this. It's bad enough the adults have to go through it but the babies! It's sick. :(

Elasha Randolph's picture
Elasha Randolph
Submitted by Elasha Randolph on
This is really sad. People don't think about the babies that are going to be born into that part of the world and may have to go through this. Do you not know that people die from diabetes and obesity? Think of babies dying because their parents have to feed them that mess! It really does get upsetting thinking about all of this. It's bad enough the adults have to go through it but the babies! It's sick. :(

swag nation's picture
swag nation
Submitted by swag nation on
this is some sh.........................................................................................................

The lone wonderer's picture
The lone wonderer
Submitted by The lone wonderer on
Thanks this will really help me with my research paper on the Pima Indians

Roxie's picture
Roxie
Submitted by Roxie on
just get rid of any insulin-spiking foods... ie SUGAR! Sugar industry should be paying for these people's medical costs.

Georgia's picture
Georgia
Submitted by Georgia on
First of all this is old news. Second, you should use their real name-Akimel O'odham. The Tohono O'odham have a similar problem as they are cousins. Pima means-I don't understand in their language and when they went to the white traders to do business they would ask their name and that was what they were called. Papago, name given to Tohono O'odham by the what traders means bean eaters. That is because they grew 7 kinds of beans. You are good at pointing out negatives is all I can say.

Georgia's picture
Georgia
Submitted by Georgia on
First of all this is old news. Second, you should use their real name-Akimel O'odham. The Tohono O'odham have a similar problem as they are cousins. Pima means-I don't understand in their language and when they went to the white traders to do business they would ask their name and that was what they were called. Papago, name given to Tohono O'odham by the what traders means bean eaters. That is because they grew 7 kinds of beans. You are good at pointing out negatives is all I can say.
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