Introduction: The Bahamas is an archipelagic nation
with an estimated population of 389,000, which is predominantly of African descent,
around 85-90% of the population. The Ministry of Health has only reported on the
incidence values of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes per surveyed year. However,
no major research has been done to ascertain the underlying factors. This study
therefore was designed to investigate if there is any relationship between dietary
intake, obesity and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in The Bahamas. In order to
correctly understand the reason for obesity in The Caribbean, the cultural dimension
must be understood. Most Caribbean people associate unhealthy native food with love
and home-positive emotions. Another aspect to be explored would be the relationship
between food that is fostered from childhood. This knowledge will aid in any form
of community-based interventions.
In this regard, it should
be a top regional and national priority to uncover key factors for this high rate
of diabetes and offer preventative solutions. This paper will examine one possible
effect - a native diet - on the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the West Indian
region, with a focus on The Bahamas.
Methods: The Bahamas can be separated into urban
regions and family islands which are less developed. Therefore, each family island
and different areas of the more urban regions would have to be visited. The Bahamas’
STEPS survey model would be employed, which is a stratified multi-stage cluster
sample design with a population-based survey of adults aged 25-64 that were diagnosed
with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. A consent form to ensure informed consent will
precede the questionnaire. Special consideration will be made to ask specific questions
regarding common Bahamian dishes that are vastly unhealthy.
Results: As of 2017, the percentage of the population
in The Bahamas that has been diagnosed with diabetes was 13.9%, and with the addition
of prediabetic patients, the percentages have risen to 19%. Due to the relationship
between diabetes and obesity, it can be surmised that the main cause for Bahamians
contracting this metabolic disorder is a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a diet
heavy in carbohydrates and seafood.
Conclusions: Since the Bahamian diet is a mixture
of the diet of the American South and The Caribbean as a whole, an in-depth analysis
would provide data that can be applied to other populations.
mellitus type 2, Bahamas, STEPS survey model.