Diabetes Type 2: A Chronic Disease

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic disease which is widespread around the world. According to Mayo Clinic, type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes that occurs due to high blood sugar and the lack of ability of the body to use insulin properly or make enough of it. Diabetes type 2 does not have a cure. However, it can be prevented or delayed. The most common causes of diabetes relate to people’s lifestyle and their genetics. Physical inactivity and obesity are the main risk factors when it comes to type 2 diabetes. Type two diabetes is more common in certain ethnicities in the United States. Hispanic communities in the United States have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes for adults over the age of 20 than non-Hispanic whites (Lopez & Golden, 2014). Hispanic individuals can develop a healthier lifestyle in order to prevent diabetes. However, the neighborhood Hispanics live in can be the predominant factor that determines their lifestyle choices.

Many chronic diseases including diabetes can be prevented or delayed through a healthy lifestyle. However, living a healthy lifestyle is not always a personal choice and it can be related to people’s socioeconomic status and the community in which they live in. A BioMed Central study stated that socioeconomic status can be related to how long people live and their mortality rate (Rabi et al, 2006). This study also claimed that Diabetes occurs more in low-income communities up to two times higher in comparison to high-income communities. Type 2 diabetes and low-income communities are corelated due to the environmental factors and the communal opportunities that shape the individuals’ lifestyles and health. A report by the United States Congress states that Hispanic families are twice more likely to be poor and live in low-income communities than non-Hispanic whites. The disadvantages that come with living in a poor neighborhood can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Unhealthy behaviors caused by obstacles in low-income communities can cause people to develop obesity which is important to avoid in order to prevent diabetes type 2. A study based on low-income urban communities discovered that obesity is especially common among low-income ethnic minorities in the United States with up to 43% of Hispanics living in the United States being either overweight or obese (Dubowitz et al, 2015). In order to prevent diabetes type 2, it is important to understand how to decrease obesity which is a crucial risk factor for this chronic disease. Lack of a healthy diet is one of the main factors that leads to obesity which is responsible for 55% of type 2 diabetes cases (Olokoba et al, 2012). In order for people to maintain a healthy diet they need to have healthy foods available for them at a convenient distance for an affordable price.

It can be difficult for many low-income communities in the Unites States to maintain a healthy lifestyle and consume healthy foods. Hispanic communities living in poor neighborhoods can have problems with their diet due to what is accessible for them. According to previous research, living near a large full-size grocery store has many health benefits as it is related to having a lower risk of being obese or having a chronic disease (Lisabeth et al, 2010). This can be due to the fact that large supermarkets carry variety of healthy foods at various prices. Having the supermarket closer to certain communities gives them an advantage of going there more often without transportation obstacles. Low-income residents have less access to supermarkets and grocery stores than high-income neighborhoods (Lisabeth et al, 2010). Residents of low-income communities have lower access to healthy foods due to the distance and affordability. This study mentioned that food stores in Mexican American neighborhoods are usually convenience stores which are less likely to sell healthy foods. They have more processed and oily foods available for cheaper prices. Convenient stores are more likely to be at walking distant in low-income communities which increases the chance of people shopping there rather than driving a longer distant to get foods that are more beneficial to their health. Transportation is an important determinant in how healthy a household can be eating. Mexican households are twice more likely to not have a vehicle than non-Hispanic whites (Lisabeth et al, 2010). Not having a vehicle can make it extremely troublesome for so many families to go to supermarkets or grocery stores that have variety of healthy affordable foods. Parents of many low-income households work multiple jobs to be able to support their families. They can get tired faster and want food that is fast and ready. Fast food places are usually very accessible for low-income families since they are cheap and affordable. Fast food places have variety of fatty and greasy food that can negatively impact people’s health. Overconsumption of fast foods can lead to obesity. According to a study done by American Public Health Association, poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles have a higher proportion of fast food restaurants than wealthy communities (Hilmerse et al, 2012). Poor families tend to buy fast food or unhealthy food sold at convenience stores since it is readily available and cheap. Low-income families do not have enough money to afford gas to drive longer distance for more expensive food or to buy higher priced grocery item when they have to feed their whole family. They do not have the time or the advantage of feeding all the members or their household healthy perishable foods. Processed snacks, junk foods, and fast foods can be cheaper. Working individuals in poor communities can have a problem with finding time to cook if they work multiple jobs to feed their family. Convenience is an important factor that prevents Hispanic individuals in low-income communities to eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet is not the only factor that can lead to diabetes type two.

Physical Activity can lower obesity and prevent diabetes type 2. However, some environmental barriers can prevent people from exercising and playing sports. A public health study states that one of the most important risk factors of obesity are social determinants of health. This study describes Social determinants of health to be the factors of the environment that people live in throughout their life which influences their quality of life and health (Arroyo-Johnson et al, 2016). Social Determinants of health depend also on people’s socioeconomic status. This study explains the physical determinates of health that fall under the social determinants of health which influence inactive lifestyle. Physical determinants consist of parks, bike lanes, recreation facilities and programs, sidewalks, green spaces, and other features of the built environment (Johnson & Mincey, 2017). Physical determinants of health are one of the main reasons why people have a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of park space in low-income neighborhoods denies the access to an environment where people can be active and enjoy playing sports (Johnson & Mincey, 2017). Most poor families do not have the money to attend a gym and exercise. Parks provide a substantial space for countless numbers of families to go to and participate in a sport or play games. This article claims that another important reason for the lack of movement can be that poorer neighborhoods are usually viewed as being less safe (Johnson & Mincey, 2017). This can keep people from going outside for a walk or a run. Transportation can also impact people’s physical activity. Physical determinants of health can influence how people transport in a community. Driving can keep people from many forms of transportation that allows the body to be active. A neighborhood that has bike lanes will allow people to bike to get places instead of driving their car everywhere. Browder sidewalks can make it possible for people to walk more often to their closer destination. It can also allow more people to go for a run in the community. Hiking trails can give an opportunity for more individuals to exercise in nature. The built environment can have a significant impact on the individual and their obesity rate due to the available opportunities presented for them. Building more places to exercise for free positively influence people’s health outcome.

People’s socioeconomic status allows them to live in certain neighborhoods and have access to various types of foods and exercise facilities. Their surroundings influence what they eat and how often they remain active. Numerous disadvantages of low-income neighborhoods drives people to make poor choices when it comes to diet and exercise which can lead to obesity. Obesity is one of the most crucial risk factor of diabetes type 2 that is very common in the world with high rates found in Hispanic communities in the United States. Substantial majority of low-income Hispanics in the United States lack easy access to healthy affordable food and available space to be more active. Since Diabetes type 2 is a crucial public health problem for Hispanics in the United States, the professionals in this field need to focus on improving characteristics of low-income neighborhoods that lead to unhealthy diet and physical inactivity in order to decrease high rates of diabetes.

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