Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Non-insulin dependent diabetes is a rising health concern among the Omaha Tribe. The problem has developed from negligible levels in the 1960s to a significant health threat today. As of 1992, 35% of the Omaha Tribe adult population residing on the reservation had been diagnosed with the condition. and the actual proportion of people with the condition is probably much higher. The age of onset of the disease is decreasing so that people as young as 10 years of age are diabetics. The increase in diabetes is at least partly due to changes in diet practices that include the emergence of new "traditional foods" and the consumption of prepared or convenience foods. Preliminary observations suggest that the modern diet that includes federally subsidized food programs may contribute to the problem.