The Use of Food and Diet to Manage and Control Type 2 Diabetes in South Trinidad: Intersections of Contemporary Medicine, Folk Medicine, and Every Day Experience

Thumbnail Image
Ramsundar, Chantelle
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

In this thesis, I examine how type 2 diabetes is managed and treated globally in a country defined as an “emerging economy”. In areas of new development, while contemporary medical treatments are more universally accepted, such as prescribed medication, folk medical treatments can still be more accessible to specific areas. Foods, and access, are important variables to take into consideration when discussing the treatment of type 2 diabetes, thus making it a focus of my argument. I argue that the conceptualization of diabetes in Southern Trinidad is influenced by folk beliefs of disease and the human body, and that conversely, the treatment measures provided to those who are diagnosed are reflective of North American ideas of prescription medication and treatment (such as diet and exercise). What this does is create a dissonance between what is “good” versus “bad” for the human body, with variables attached to identity at the centre of the conflict such as gender, culture, food, and memories.

Type 2 Diabetes, Food, Trinidad, Caribbean, Health