What are the causes of the root causes of diabetes; obesity? Is it nature or nurture? Nature would be family history and genetics in certain ethnic groups like Latinos and African-Americans high propensity to contract diabetes. Another possible question is what might be the root causes to even the nature of diabetes; could it be more tied to our unhealthy environments, especially those in low-income minority communities?
There are a few related terms to describe this area of health disparities from Public Health Advocacy, Environmental Justice, to Environmental Racism to describe root causes of socio-health inequities seen in low-income communities that are “dumped on” with high concentrations of liquor stores, fast food “restaurants”, donut shops, and not enough supermarkets with fresh produce and products, safe public parks and green spaces, and places of higher learning and cultural centers. These few examples of unhealthy environments along with a profusion of freeways, hazardous toxic dumping grounds, car repair shops, tow yards, junk yards, refineries, factories, and other polluting types of infrastructures and “junk businesses” with little to no strong opposition of elected officials, city planners, and others who presume to defend and protect all constituents.
Unhealthy environments such as this are seen as the causes of diabetes, obesity, cancer, asthma, cardio-vascular disease, depression, and more. The focus of advocacy is to bring attention to many persons in these environments who may be too accustomed to this environment or may not feel empowered to change it. It is a complex problem, but one that needs to be addressed more by bringing together community residents, advocates, elected officials and government representatives, corporate leaders, and other involved members from in and out of the community to address the problems and seek ways to build consensus and creative ways of developing solutions to this problem on a local and even global level.