I’m keynoting the workship on Food, Ethics, Politics at 4:00 with a reception to follow. My talk, “”Food, Ethics, Politics: The View from 2022,” will be in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Maeder Hall, Room 002. This event is part of the University Center for Human Values (UCHV) Conferences, Workshops & Special Events. To register to attend, click here.
Weekend reading: Diabetes, race, and class
Arleen Tuchman. Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease. Yale University Press, 2020.I did a blurb for this book:
This is a superb, deeply researched history of the role of racism and class bias in perceptions of type 2 diabetes. Its root causes? Poverty and discrimination—a new vision for a prevention agenda.
Tuchman does for type 2 diabetes what historians of other diseases have done: explore the central role of race and racism. Racism, she explains, can
Generate ill health by producing pathological responses to the stress of living in a society in which skin color is endowed with privileges denied to others. Racism, in other words, can make people sick. In this way, racism—not race—becomes a fundamental cause of differential disease rates, making it impossible to draw a sharp line between what is biological and what is social.
As she documents, health professionals first viewed diabetes as a disease of the Jews—perhaps because they went to doctors more often. It took decades for scientists to distinguish type 1 from type 2 diabetes, and more decades to recognize that its higher prevalence among non-white minority groups might be due to the obesity-promoting diets and lifestyles of poverty.
For documentation of the social determinants of health, this book is an instant classic.