Sugary Beverage Consumption and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes among People of Mexican Origin: An Exception to the “Epidemiologic Paradox”
Haverford College. Independent College Programs
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
My thesis hypothesizes that high rates of type 2 diabetes among people of Mexican origin may be related to sugary beverage consumption in this group. To test my hypothesis, I have conducted a detailed review of the literature on sugary beverage consumption and its health risks, type 2 diabetes causation, especially in relation to sugary beverage consumption and obesity, and type 2 diabetes and beverage consumption in people of Mexican origin. Additionally, to test the availability of sugary beverages in the Mexican community, I measured and analyzed beverage shelf space in several grocery stores. To my knowledge, the relationship between sugary beverage consumption and type 2 diabetes among people of Mexican origin has not been studied. Therefore, a product of this thesis is the creation of a survey for future research on this topic that asks about beverage consumption habits and attitudes, type 2 diabetes diagnosis and familiarity, and country of origin and family heritage. As an educational intervention, I plan to design an information sheet on sugary beverage nutrition for patients who may be at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Through my literature review, I found that sugary beverage consumption is related to obesity, one of the principle risk factors for type 2 diabetes. I also found that people of Mexican origin do indeed have a higher rate of sugary beverage consumption than the total population. Through administering a pilot of my survey to Haverford students, I established that those students who were aware of a family member diagnosed with diabetes were more likely to have increased awareness of beverage sugar content. Finally, my pilot shelf measurement project revealed that the Mexican-owned grocery store where I measured shelves had more high sugar beverages available than low sugar beverages, though further research may be necessary to confirm these results. I concluded that my literature review and shelf measurement project provided solid support for my hypothesis and that further research should be conducted via the administration of my survey to more thoroughly determine the nature of the relationship between sugary beverage consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes in people of Mexican origin.