Mary Pember: Eating, praying and loving ... with diabetes

"I have battled obesity for a long time with a brief respite during my college and young adult years. For about the past 15 years, my excess weight has proved remarkably resistant to diets and exercise.

I take some consolation in the fact that I am not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, American Indian children have the highest obesity rate in the U.S., 20. 2%. A 2007 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the prevalence obesity among American Indian and Alaskan Native school aged children and adults is higher than the respective U. S. rates for all other races combined.

I know all of this data and information intimately because I have written about obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health issues in Indian Country. I have spoken at length with health care professionals about the rates of diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, depression and suicide in our communities. All of these issues have affected me and/or my family directly. In many ways, my choice of writing topics has been an effort to exorcise the pain and power of these ills from my life. I have operated under the illusion that knowledge alone would loosen their hold."

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Mary Annette Pember: Eat, Pray, Love...Eat Some More (The Daily Yonder 2/2)

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