Real link is between diabetes and poverty, says York prof

Diabetes among South Asian immigrants is on the rise but it’s not a new phenomenon, wrote the Toronto Sun April 19, citing a York University professor.

Diabetes risk among immigrants from South Asia is three to four times higher than in immigrants from western European countries, says a study released Monday by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies.

But Dennis Raphael, a well published York University professor in the School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health, says he has been studying the same finding for years. “Just about every group in Canada outside of white European people are identified as having a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes and it’s even higher around the world in populations where they’re having difficult life circumstances with poverty and equality,” Raphael said.

“If you want to understand which populations around the world are more likely to have diabetes, it’s usually people with difficult life circumstances. The one commonality is all these groups experience greater unemployment, greater poverty and greater stress as immigrants,” Raphael said.

Raphael said the solution to curbing the risk of diabetes in immigrant populations is to ensure everyone has enough economic resources to have a better quality of life.

Is the church keeping up with modern times?

Equally challenging, however, are the implications of the practice of celibacy, and its attitudes toward birth control and therapeutic abortion, wrote Ron Charach in a letter to the National Post April 20 about issues faced by the Roman Catholic Church. These practices have come to be viewed in the modern era as part of normal family planning, maternal health and the rights of women. Indeed, the church’s stances towards sex have been challenged by church historians like York University’s Barrie Wilson, professor emeritus in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. He believes they were added in by Saul of Tarsus (who became St. Paul) rather than stemming from the original spirit of the teachings of Jesus.

Lion picked for basketball all-star team

The Ontario East all-stars will include Kitchener’s Nadia Qahwash from York University, wrote the Waterloo Region Record April 20 in a story about the Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball all-star game. Tipoff for the all-star game is 7:30pm at Wilfrid Laurier University on May 1. Admission is free.

Percy Centennial becoming an EcoSchool

Students and parents of Warkworth’s Percy Centennial Public School are taking recycling to a whole new level as they join the Ontario EcoSchools program aimed at addressing environmental issues, wrote April 20.

This is their first year in the provincewide initiative and students have embraced the idea and are now moving forward with the concept in a very real way by creating an EcoTeam.

Ontario EcoSchools was created in 2002 by a consortium of education stakeholders to address environmental issues in the education system. Seven school boards, York University, and the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority collaborated to adapt and expand on the work of the Toronto District School Board where it originated.

Adventurous spirit led her to York

Judith Kazdan (BA ’76) was known for her strong spirit and perseverance, wrote The Globe and Mail April 20 in an obituary. Her first test of resilience came when she was only a year old. Judith became so ill with pneumonia that the doctor told her parents to prepare for a funeral. But she pulled through and went on to live a healthy, full and long life.

Around the same time she started running, Judith decided to pursue a lifelong dream of getting a university education. She enrolled at York University, took one or two courses a semester and graduated at 67 with a BA in psychology.

Judith was an exceptional woman, and inspired so many with her adventurous spirit, willingness to start new things at any age and desire to always do her best.