Hannah’s Reflection

What interests me about food is the effect of food on society, the economy, and the environment.  I look at food as a part of the greater human connection to other people and the planet.  At MadSciMag, I saw some very interesting scientific videos and blogs that taught me about the importance of presenting science in a way that is funny, artistic, and sensually engaging.  I hope to present my own scientific research in this way.

People are hesitant about citing overeating as a cause of diabetes.  People feel offended by accusations that their medical problems may the fault to their diet ,especially in the weight sensitive American society.  However, overeating is not the same as being overweight although one can lead to the other.  It is possible to be skinny and still overeat.  Overeating is eating more food than is good for your body, or eating a disproportionate amount of certain foods, specifically sugar in the case of diabetes.  In the human body, when blood sugar is too high, a hormone called insulin is released, triggering the body cells to absorb the extra sugar.  Genetic causes are significant in triggering diabetes, especially Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune response.  However, Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance.  Insulin is a drug that specifically affects your body, and resistance to a drug comes from  being exposed to so much of that drug that it no longer affects you.  That suggests that it is possible to consume so much sugar that you make enough insulin to become resistant to it.  According to the American Heart Association, for a 2,000 calorie a day diet 35g or 9 teaspoons of sugar a day is the health amount to eat.  Most Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, more than twice the recommended amount.  Though it not always right to blame people’s medical problems on their lifestyles, diabetes is clearly one of many problems caused by a health diet.

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