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A good number of us here might think that the lifestyle of our ancestors had a role in our becoming diabetics. Is that true? Who were your ancestors?

In the case of most Indians, it is easy to find out who the ancestors were and what type of professions they were engaged in, because caste endogamy was more or less widely followed till recently. Variyam is an office in the ancient version of my mother tongue and a variyar (pronounced vah-ri-yer) was an office bearer. By tradition, my ancestors were the managers of the Hindu temple, hence were variyars (it is likely that a British school master spelt the last name of a forefather of mine as Warrier so that a native English speaker would pronounce this Indian word as close to its original pronunciation as possible.) Besides temple administration, my ancestors engaged themselves in secular professions as teachers, physicians of the Ayurveda system of medicine, astronomers, mathematicians, literary figures and so on. In short, their profession was sedentary. Was it this sedentary life of our ancestors that caused the defective, diabetes causing genes to thrive among us, their descendants?

Looks like there is another side to this question. In the experience of my younger sister who is a doctor, diabetes is now rampant among the descendants of the agricultural labourers of the bygone generations. These descendants became sedentary only in one or at the most two generations. Their ancestors, as landless agricultural labourers, had to toil hard to make both ends meet. So, in their case it appears that the physical activity of ancestors didn't keep diabetes away from their sedentary descendants.

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