Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blessing/Curse of First People's Genetic Adaptation

People who live in harsh environments for more than 500 years, adapt genetically and culturally to that climate. Modern ways and diets are attractive but produce disease because of disconnect between how their bodies were adapted to a non-modern lifestyle. The epidemic of diabetes among first nation children and young adults has been accelerating as traditional ways of living fade. This is not limited ot First Americans but this article illustrates the problem well and how difficult it is to deal with.
clipped from www.canada.com
Sandy Lake First Nation - epicentre of diabetes epidemic

High prices are common in fly-in communities. But they are particularly hard to swallow here in Sandy Lake, where a quarter of the people have diabetes, the highest rate in Canada and third highest in the world.

Until the 1950s, Oji-Cree lived a harsh and strenuous traditional life in the region's forests and maze of lakes and rivers. Fish, duck, rabbit and moose were mainstays. Blueberries and cranberries were picked by the basketful. They ran trap lines on snowshoes and dog sleds, often covering tens of kilometres a day.

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