HAT FORUM, Sat Nov 24, 11am - 1pm OISE

Hat Forum, Saturday, 24 November 2012   11am - 1pom
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street W,   Room 2-198
Facilitator: Arif Uddin
Topic: Culture & Health : What's the Connection

Can "culture" explain the high and low rates of diabetes among diverse countries? For our purpose we will define culture as everything that is not due to human biology.

Since our genes haven't changed in the last few decades, then our culture has to be the responsible for shaping the size and direction of health issues such as diabetes (type 2), a disease of affluence.

Many of us in North America believe America has the highest rate of diabetes among the  well-off countries that are affluent enough to eat all they want without using virtually any physical effort. But the highest rates of diabetes are in the five countries that are in the Arabian Peninsula. (International Diabetes Foundation, Diabetes Atlas)

Are there aspects of culture that correlate with the health symptoms of societies? In other words, if a culture fosters basic human needs/desires such as curiosity and sports participation, will it also lead to a healthier society such as one with lower diabetes rates?