Date of Completion

Fall 12-1-2012

Thesis Advisor(s)

Lawrence Silbart

Honors Major

Allied Health


Other Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Public Health | Public Health


Over the past thirty years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity has greatly increased in the United States. This paper compares the living environment of hunter-gathers to that of modern humans, in diet and activity levels, and discusses the recent increase of type 2 diabetes as a 'disease of civilization'. To address these changes in dietary composition and activity levels, an alternative agricultural model, permaculture edible forest gardening, is proposed. Permaculture edible forest gardening is an agricultural model which mimics natural ecosystem structure while consisting of entirely edible, perennial plant species. Permaculture edible forest gardens can potentially play a role in the mitigation of the diet and activity level related risk factors for type 2 diabetes.