Doc Talk #83 – Diabetes and the Pima



Prompted by an Arizona trip, Dr Dan talked about type 2 diabetes and the Pima of Arizona. There was a natural experiment of sorts in which European colonists cut off the water supply to the Arizona Pima, causing a massive change in lifestyle.

Even on vacation, Doc Talk never rests!

Within two generations the Arizona Pima went from having diabetes prevalence not very dissimilar to the US population at large, to having the highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the world!It is an instructive case study in why type 2 diabetes has become more prevalent.

There is some difference in diet between the Arizona and Mexican Pima, but the principal difference relates to their physical activity.

We talked about the rates of overweight/obesity locally in Vegreville/Minburn County, as well as some stats on physical activity and found that we can rival the Pima (not in a good way!).

The Canadian guidelines for physical activity are quite conservative – and if you are at high risk of diabetes may not be sufficient to protect you.